In our August issue of Cloverdale Connect, we shared a story about Donna Cambra, a member of our Cloverdale community, who is searching for a kidney donor. One in seven adults has chronic kidney disease. When someone has chronic kidney disease (CKD), their kidneys aren’t as effective in removing waste products and extra fluid from their blood.

Usually, this happens slowly over time. Symptoms also develop slowly and may include common things like fatigue, loss of appetite or ankle swelling. Some people have no symptoms until CKD makes them very sick, usually when kidney function falls below 10% of normal.

CKD is diagnosed by simple, quick and inexpensive blood tests. If the disease is discovered early, most people can prolong their kidney function through lifestyle changes and medication.

There’s no cure for CKD. When kidney function falls below 10%, most people begin kidney replacement treatment. There are two types of treatment:

• Kidney transplant – about 21,000 transplants are performed each year.
• Dialysis – more than 460,000 people receive dialysis treatments each year.

In the U.S. alone, more than 37 million people are living with CKD. Dozens of organizations support CKD patients and their families, ready to educate, encourage and advance care for longer, healthier lives. Satellite Healthcare in Windsor is a leading, national not-for-profit kidney care company that has been dedicated to making life better for patients with kidney disease since 1974.

Satellite Healthcare and its entities provide:

• in-center and home dialysis services;
• innovative research and clinical trials; and
• early and end-stage-kidney disease management.

Their focus is to improve the quality and access of dialysis care, reduce costs and implement integrated value-based care models.

Diabetes and high blood pressure together are the primary causes for more than two-thirds of cases of CKD in the U.S. These two conditions, especially if uncontrolled, cause damage to blood vessels and kidneys. At first, this damage happens slowly over time, which makes noticing symptoms difficult. Early detection and a kidney-friendly lifestyle can help keep your kidneys working well and give you the best chance for a longer and healthier life.

Other causes of CKD include sudden injury to kidneys from a severe illness or reaction to certain drugs or chemicals. It’s also possible for CKD to result from a birth defect, inherited disease, autoimmune disease or other conditions.

Symptoms of CKD

• Swelling of ankles, feet, face or hands
• Fatigue
• Trouble sleeping
• Decreased appetite
• Metallic taste
• Nausea
• Itching
• Blood or protein in the urine

The kidneys are amazing organs that play a major role in keeping our body clean and healthy by flushing out unwanted wastes and toxic materials. Though their primary function is to remove toxins from the body, it is not their only function. The kidneys also play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure, the volume of fluid and electrolytes in the body. Although most of us are born with two kidneys, just one suffices to effectively carry out all important tasks.

In recent years, there has been a disturbing increase in the number of patients suffering from diabetes and hypertension that has led to a noticeable increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. This calls for better awareness and understanding of kidney diseases, their prevention and early treatment. The kidneys are among the most vital organs of the human body. Malfunction of the kidneys can lead to serious illness or even death. Each kidney has a very complex structure and function. They have two important functions namely: to flush out harmful and toxic waste products and to maintain balance of water, fluids, minerals and chemicals i.e., electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, etc.

Treatment Options:

Dialysis is the most common treatment for those living with end-stage kidney failure. Regular dialysis treatments remove toxins and extra fluid from your body and are done either in your own home or around others in a treatment center.

Peritoneal dialysis (PD)

• Needle-free dialysis through the abdomen
• PD treatments use the lining in your abdomen (peritoneum) and a special solution (dialysate) to remove waste and extra fluid from your blood.
• Treatments at home may be performed during the day or at night—or both—using either a machine or doing it by yourself. Hemodialysis (HD) – Blood is cleaned using an artificial kidney machine and filter
• A little at a time, blood flows out of the body into the dialysis machine. Waste and extra fluid are removed from the blood. The cleaned blood is returned to the body.
• Treatments are done either in the home or in a dialysis center or sometimes, when necessary, in a hospital setting.

A healthy kidney placed during surgery

• A successful kidney transplant is the preferred kidney replacement treatment.
• A kidney from a human donor is put into the body during surgery.
• Waiting for a kidney that’s a good fit can take years.
• Someone who needs a healthy kidney may ask a special person in their life to consider donating one of theirs. This can speed the ability to have transplant surgery. In addition, a donated kidney from a living person has a higher chance of long-term success.
• While waiting for a transplant, most people begin dialysis treatment.

For more information about kidney disease or to see if you could be a donor, contact