We often talk about heart disease, diabetes and asthma, but we rarely consider the health of our kidneys. 25 - 31 May is Kidney Health Week so it's a great time to think about kidneys.
How much do you know about kidneys and their function?
- Did you know that 10% of adults presenting to GPs have kidney disease while 80% of patients have at least one risk factor for kidney disease?1
- Did you know most people with kidney disease are unaware they have the condition?
- Did you know that diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
- Did you also know that the best practice management for CKD is a team approach provided through general practice?
Looking After Your Kidney Health
Patients visiting Rozelle Total Health are in luck. RTH excels in the interdisciplinary approach to healthcare. Apart from our GPs we can offer advice on lifestyle change with our Exercise Physiologist and Dietitian and for those with existing kidney disease we have a Specialist Renal (kidney) Physician on site, Dr Anthony Restifo.
RTH is also involved in a national program called Australian Primary Care Collaboratives or APCC.2 The APCC program is important for general practice as it enables GPs to examine the systems and processes they use to manage chronic disease. It’s a challenging process that encourages participating practices to look long and hard at how they deliver healthcare. Participating practices are not only measured against their own standards of practice, but also against other local practices involved in APCC as well as practices across the state and sometimes the country.The pressure is on for APCC general practices to be the best they can be.
As a participant in the APPC Cardiovascular Disease program, RTH is testing for CKD as one of their key chronic disease management activities. The trouble is that the symptoms for CKD do not become obvious until significant kidney failure has developed. Picking up the early changes of CKD mean that we can slow progression and actually prevent you ever having significant symptoms. We can address all of your risks for heart disease and stroke and work with you on decreasing your risk.
Let's look at some of the risks for developing CKD
- 1 in 3 adult Australians are at an increased risk of developing CKD1.
- People are at increased risk of developing CKD if they:
- are 60 years or older
- have diabetes
- have a family history of kidney disease
- have established cardiovascular disease
- have high blood pressure
- are obese (body mass index ≥ 30)
- are a smoker
- are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin1
What does CKD Testing Involve?
Testing includes a urine test for albuminuria, a blood test for serum creatinine along with blood pressure checks every 1-2 years.
So if you are a patient with high blood pressure, or if you are at risk of diabetes and CVD, don’t miss the chance to be tested and have any kidney problems dealt with early.
Don’t be surprised if RTH encourage you to undertake testing every year for this silent disease.
When you take the time to learn about Kidney Disease risk factors and symptoms you'll better understand the need to make testing a regular part of your health care.