Take A Quiz

Quick quiz (only one answer needed):


  • Which chronic disease affects one in nine Americans?
  • Which chronic disease causes high blood pressure and, in turn, is caused by high blood pressure?
  • Which high blood pressure related end-stage disease is 4.2 times more likely to affect African Americans than to affect Caucasians?
  • Which chronic disease affects children and adolescents as well as adults?


Answer: Chronic Kidney Disease


Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the 9th leading cause of death among Americans. Many people don’t know that they have CKD until it is well advanced. Kidney failure is the end result (or end-stage) of CKD. Kidney failure requires dialysis or kidney transplant. But early detection of CKD can prevent the occurrence of kidney failure.


Quick anatomy and physiology of the urinary system (J structure and function of the kidney/bladder system)


The kidneys (there are normally two) are fist sized organs that are located in the back of your body just below the rib cage. One kidney is on the right of your spinal column and the other on the left. All the blood in your body runs through the kidneys because it is the job of the kidneys to filter out the impurities from the blood.


Each kidney is connected to your urinary bladder by way of a small tube called a ureter. Your bladder stores the product of the kidneys, urine. Urine leaves your body by way of a tube called a urethra.


Inside the kidneys there is a complex filtration system. The parts of the system are called nephrons. There are as many as one million nephrons in each kidney. Each nephron contains a very tiny structure made of blood vessels. This structure is called a glomerulus.


Your blood flows through the glomerulus where it is filtered. The chemical composition of the resulting fluid is adjusted according to your body’s’ needs as it passes from the glomerulus to the nephron. The adjusted fluid moves from the nephron to the larger kidney, from the kidney to the bladder (it is now urine) and out the body.


As you can see, this is a complex system. Any problem along the way can result in illness and disease. If the problem is not (or can not) be corrected, chronic kidney disease results.


Some common causes of CKD are: diabetes, high blood pressure, defects in the structure of the kidneys and infection.


Tests for chronic kidney disease are:

  • Blood Pressure Measurement.
  • Blood test for creatinine.
  • Urine test for protein.


You are at increased risk of developing kidney disease if you:

  • Are older.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Have a family member who has CKD.
  • Are an African American, Hispanic American, Asians and Pacific Islander or American Indian.


See your healthcare provider. Find out if you are at risk. Get treated if you are.


Health – it’s about prevention.


Today is World Kidney Day


March is National Kidney Month  


To find out more about kidney disease:

The National Kidney Foundation

The National Institutes of Health


Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN


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