You may have seen a report late last year explaining that Hawai‘i was the healthiest state in the nation. While good health is certainly good news, the story involved a summary of limited information, and did not reflect the current state of kidney disease in America.
Unfortunately, incidence of the disease has more than doubled in the past decade and is projected to double again in the next 10 years. Here in Hawai‘i, the incidence of kidney disease is approximately 30 percent higher than the national average: 1 in 7 people have the disease — often without realizing it during the early stages.
Chances are, unless you are already diagnosed with kidney disease, you do not “know your numbers” for healthy kidneys. Results from a simple blood test and urine analysis requested by your doctor will help you know if your numbers are good. One way to know your kidneys are healthy is to “know your numbers”— so ask your doctor. If you haven’t seen your doctor for a while, now is a good time to get a checkup. Ask your doctor about your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR number tells you how much kidney function you have. As kidney disease worsens, kidney function declines and the GFR number decreases. Early detection can allow you to slow down or even stop the disease from worsening, by changing your lifestyle and following your doctor’s advice.
Help us reverse the trends associated with kidney disease by helping yourself. “Know your numbers.”