National Health Observances

Facts, Symptoms, and Causes of CKD

The Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • 37 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
  • Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.
  • Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.
  • High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Seniors are at increased risk.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.

What causes CKD?

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high, causing damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If uncontrolled, or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Also, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.

Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:

  • Glomerulonephritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtering units. These disorders are the third most common type of kidney disease.
  • Inherited diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, which causes large cysts to form in the kidneys and damage the surrounding tissue.
  • Malformations that occur as a baby develops in its mother’s womb. For example, a narrowing may occur that prevents normal outflow of urine and causes urine to flow back up to the kidney. This causes infections and may damage the kidneys.
  • Lupus and other diseases that affect the body’s immune system.
  • Obstructions caused by problems like kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.
  • Repeated urinary infections.

What are the symptoms of CKD?

Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:

  • feel more tired and have less energy
  • have trouble concentrating
  • have a poor appetite
  • have trouble sleeping
  • have muscle cramping at night
  • have swollen feet and ankles
  • have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
  • have dry, itchy skin
  • need to urinate more often, especially at night.

Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family history of kidney failure
  • are older
  • belong to a population group that has a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians.

Source https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease



Go Red for Women®

Go Red for Women®

Go Red for Women® is the American Heart Association’s global initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women. Launched in 2004 to close the gap in awareness, Go Red quickly expanded into a worldwide movement dedicated to removing the barriers women face to achieving good health and wellbeing.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. Learn what it means to Go Red For Women to help women like you fight back:

G: GET YOUR NUMBERS

Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

O: OWN YOUR LIFESTYLE

Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy.

It’s up to you. No one can do it for you.

R: REALIZE YOUR RISK

We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills one of three women.

E: EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY

Make healthy food choices for you and your family.

Teach your kids the importance of staying active.

D: DON’T BE SILENT

Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.

Source https://newsroom.heart.org/events/february-2020-american-heart-month-and-go-red-for-women


General Donation Questions

What organs and tissues can be donated?

  • Eight vital organs can be donated: heart, kidneys (2), pancreas, lungs (2), liver, and intestines. Hands and faces have also recently been added to the list.
  • Tissue: cornea, skin, heart valves, bone, blood vessels, and connective tissue
  • Bone marrow and stem cells, umbilical cord blood, peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC)

If I’m a registered donor, will it affect the medical care I receive at the hospital?

No! The medical team trying to save your life is separate from the transplant team. Every effort is made to save your life before donation becomes a possibility.

Will donation disfigure my body? Can there be an open casket funeral?

Donation does not interfere with having an open casket service. Surgical techniques are used to retrieve organs and tissues, and all incisions are closed.

Are there any costs to my family for donation?

No. Your family pays for your medical care and funeral costs, but not for organ donation. Costs related to donation are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Can I sell my organs?

No! The National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507) makes it illegal to sell human organs and tissues in the United States. Violators are subject to fines and imprisonment.

One reason Congress made this law was to make sure the wealthy do not have an unfair advantage for obtaining donated organs and tissues. (Source: OPTN white paper on bioethics—Financial Incentives for Organ Donation, June 30, 1993)

 

 

Source https://www.organdonor.gov/about/facts-terms/donation-faqs.html


Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

At least one third of cancers are preventable giving us every reason to champion healthy choices and prevention strategies for all, so that we have the best chance to prevent and reduce our cancer risks.

Choosing your health

Not every type of cancer is preventable but we do know we can prevent many cancers through lifestyle choices alone. According to the World Health Organization, at least one third of common cancers are preventable1 through a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

Smoking

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer and stopping smoking is one of the best things we can do to reduce our risk of cancer. Use of tobacco has been found to cause around 15 different types of cancer including oral cancers, lung, liver, stomach, bowel and ovarian cancers, as well as some types of leukaemia (cancers of the blood)2. Quitting at any age can make huge a difference, increasing your life expectancy and improving quality of life3.

Alcohol

Alcohol is strongly linked with an increased risk of several cancers. By reducing and limiting how much you drink, you can reduce your risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, bowel and breast, and may also reduce the risk of liver and bowel cancers.

Physical activity

Maintaining a healthy weight and making physical activity part of your everyday life can help reduce your risk of ten cancers, which include bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder cancers6,7.

Ultraviolet radiation

No matter where you live or your skin tone, moderate your exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and avoid tanning beds and solariums to help reduce your risk of skin cancer8. Staying under the shade, covering up your skin and avoiding prolonged periods of exposure to the sun are some ways to help protect yourself. 

 

Fast fact: Smoking is linked to 71%4 of lung cancer deaths, and accounts for at least 22% of all cancer deaths5. 

 

Workplace hazards

Some people risk being exposed to a cancer-causing substance because of the work that they do. For example, workers in the chemical dye industry have been found to have a higher incidence than normal of bladder cancer. Asbestos is a well-known workplace cause of cancer – particularly a cancer called mesothelioma, which most commonly affects the covering of the lungs. In this case, asbestos isn’t just present in workplaces but can also be found in older homes and buildings.

Get vaccinated

Chronic infections (commonly caused by viruses) are estimated to cause approximately 16% of all cancers globally. Some of the most common forms of cancers such as liver, cervical and stomach cancers are associated with infections with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori virus (H, pylori), respectively. Today, there are safe and effective vaccines against HBV and HPV, which can help to protect against the infection-related cancers of liver and cervical cancers.

Source https://www.worldcancerday.org/prevention-and-risk-reduction


Myths, Misinformation and Stigma

Myths, misinformation and stigma

Some common myths and misconceptions about cancer – including that there is no cure or there is nothing that can be done about cancer – can understandably cause fear. However, misinformation, misconceptions and stigma around cancer creates a negative cycle that further acts to confirm our fears. Our fears can prevent us from seeking early detection, or to delay or avoid treatment and care altogether. Often, by receiving diagnosis at a late stage or not seeking treatment at all, this can result in worse outcomes, which in turn perpetuates the myths and misconception of cancer being incurable or untreatable.

Source https://www.worldcancerday.org/awareness-understanding-myths-and-misinformation-0


Protecting Your Child’s Teeth

Even though tooth decay—or cavities—has been on the decline for the past 30 years, it is still one of the most common chronic diseases for kids from age 6 to 19.

Protect your child’s teeth by following the tips below:

  • Have your child drink tap water that contains fluoride. To see if your community’s water is fluoridated, you can view your water system on CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride website. You can also call your water utility company and request a copy of the utility’s most recent “Consumer Confidence Report.” This report provides information on the level of fluoride in your drinking (tap) water.

 

  • If your drinking water does not have enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay (the optimal amount of 0.7 milligrams per Liter), ask your dentist, pediatrician, family doctor, or nurse if your child needs oral fluoride supplements, such as drops, tablets, or lozenges.

 

  • Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

 

  • If your child is younger than 2 years, consult first with your doctor or dentist regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste. Clean your child’s teeth every day as soon as the first tooth appears by brushing without toothpaste with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and plain water.

 

  • If your child is younger than 6 years, watch your child brush their teeth. Make sure your child only uses a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spits it out rather than swallows it. Help your child brush until she has good brushing skills.

 

  • Talk to your dentist, pediatrician, family doctor, or nurse about putting fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.

 

  • By the time your child is 1 year of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start recommends that your child visit a dentist for an initial check-up. Your child’s chance of getting cavities can be higher if:
    • Family members (older brothers, sisters, or parents) have cavities.
    • They eat and drink a lot of sugary foods and drinks, like soda, especially between meals.
    • They have special health care needs.
    • They wear braces or orthodontics or oral appliances.

If any of these apply to your child, be sure to talk with your dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor to make sure you are taking extra steps to protect your child’s teeth.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/fl_caries.htm


How Can I Make the Most of My Remaining Sight?

If you have low vision, you can find ways to make the most of your vision and keep doing the things you love to do.

If your vision loss is minor, you may be able to make small changes to help yourself see better. You can do things like: 

  • Use brighter lights at home or work
  • Wear anti-glare sunglasses
  • Use a magnifying lens for reading and other up-close activities

If your vision loss is getting in the way of everyday activities, ask your eye doctor about vision rehabilitation.

A specialist can help you learn how to live with your vision loss. This can include things like:

  • Training on how to use a magnifying device for reading
  • Guidance for setting up your home so you can move around easily
  • Sharing resources to help you cope with your vision loss

Source https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/low-vision

 


Symptoms of a Heart Attack and Stroke in Women

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

 

If you had heart disease, would you recognize the symptoms? You might be thinking, “Of course!” Many people are familiar with the scene of a man clutching his chest and falling to the ground, but there’s plenty more you need to know.

While there are many similarities in the symptoms of heart disease in men and women, there are even more differences – differences that could save, or end your life if you don’t know them. So before you pass that jaw pain off as the result of sleeping funny or lightheadedness as something a snack or rest can fix, learn the symptoms. And don’t ignore them.

Source https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/signs-and-symptoms-in-women


Top 10 Myths About Cardiovascular Disease

How much do you really know about your heart’s health? It’s easy to be fooled by misconceptions. After all, heart disease only happens to your elderly neighbor or to your fried food-loving uncle, right? Or do you know the real truth – that heart disease can affect people of any age, even those who eat right?

Relying on false assumptions can be dangerous to your heart. Cardiovascular disease kills more Americans each year than any other disease. But you can boost your heart smarts by separating fact from fiction. Let’s set the record straight on some common myths.

  1. “I’m too young to worry about heart disease.” How you live now affects your risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. As early as childhood and adolescence, plaque can start accumulating in the arteries and later lead to clogged arteries. One in three Americans has cardiovascular disease, but not all of them are senior citizens. Even young and middle-aged people can develop heart problems – especially now that obesity, type 2 diabetes and other risk factors are becoming more common at a younger age.

 

  1. “I’d know if I had high blood pressure because there would be warning signs.” High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because you don’t usually know you have it. You may never experience symptoms, so don’t wait for your body to alert you that there’s a problem. The way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check your numbers with a simple blood pressure test. Early treatment of high blood pressure is critical because, if left untreated, it can cause heart attack, stroke, kidney damage and other serious health problems. Learn how high blood pressure is diagnosed.

 

  1. “I’ll know when I’m having a heart attack because I’ll have chest pain.” Not necessarily. Although it’s common to have chest pain or discomfort, a heart attack may cause subtle symptoms. These include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling lightheaded, and pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, neck or back. Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Learn you risk of heart attack today!

 

  1. “Diabetes won’t threaten my heart as long as I take my medication.” Treating diabetes can help reduce your risk for or delay the development of cardiovascular diseases. But even when blood sugar levels are under control, you’re still at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. That’s because the risk factors that contribute to diabetes onset also make you more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. These overlapping risk factors include high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity and smoking.

 

  1. “Heart disease runs in my family, so there’s nothing I can do to prevent it.” Although people with a family history of heart disease are at higher risk, you can take steps to dramatically reduce your risk. Create an action plan to keep your heart healthy by tackling these to-dos: get active; control cholesterol; eat better; manage blood pressure; maintain a healthy weight; control blood sugar; and stop smoking.

 

  1. “I don’t need to have my cholesterol checked until I’m middle-aged.” The American Heart Association recommends you start getting your cholesterol checked every 5 years starting at age 20. It’s a good idea to start having a cholesterol test even earlier if your family has a history of heart disease. Children in these families can have high cholesterol levels, putting them at increased risk for developing heart disease as adults. You can help yourself and your family by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

 

  1. “Heart failure means the heart stops beating.” The heart suddenly stops beating during cardiac arrest, not heart failure. With heart failure, the heart keeps working, but it doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. It can cause shortness of breath, swelling in the feet and ankles or persistent coughing and wheezing. During cardiac arrest, a person loses consciousness and stops normal breathing.

 

  1. “This pain in my legs must be a sign of aging. I’m sure it has nothing to do with my heart.” Leg pain felt in the muscles could be a sign of a condition called peripheral artery disease. PAD results from blocked arteries in the legs caused by plaque buildup. The risk for heart attack or stroke increases for people with PAD.

 

  1. “My heart is beating really fast. I must be having a heart attack.” Some variation in your heart rate is normal. Your heart rate speeds up during exercise or when you get excited, and slows down when you’re sleeping. Most of the time, a change in your heartbeat is nothing to worry about. But sometimes, it can be a sign of arrhythmia, an abnormal or irregular heartbeat. Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some can last long enough to impact how well the heart works and require treatment.

 

  1. “I should avoid exercise after having a heart attack.” No! As soon as possible, get moving with a plan approved for you! Research shows that heart attack survivors who are regularly physically active and make other heart-healthy changes live longer than those who don’t. People with chronic conditions typically find that moderate-intensity activity is safe and beneficial. The American Heart Association recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week For Overall Cardiovascular Health. Find the help you need by joining a cardiac rehabilitation program, but first consult your healthcare provider for advice on developing a physical activity plan tailored to your needs.

Source https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/top-10-myths-about-cardiovascular-disease