“Please consider saving a life, my life, and becoming a kidney donor.” 
– Trisha


 

Donor education


Donating your organs upon your death

If you are not able to be a living donor, have you considered donating your organs upon your death? I know it may seem morbid to think about, but becoming an organ donor if you should pass away suddenly could save many lives. Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to register to be an organ donor. Thank you.

An estimated 37 million adults in the United States may have chronic kidney disease (CKD) but nearly 90% are unaware of their condition. When found early, people can take important steps to protect their kidneys. 

Quick kidney disease facts and stats

Check out basic facts and statistics about chronic kidney disease.

• 37 million Americans have kidney disease. 

• About 807,000 Americans are living with kidney failure. 

• More than 562,000 Americans are on dialysis 

• More than 245,000 Americans are living with a kidney transplant 

• Kidney disease is growing at an alarming rate. It currently affects more than 1 in 7 — or 15% — of American adults, with people of color at greater risk for kidney failure. 

• There were about 130,000 Americans newly diagnosed with kidney failure in 2020 (the most recent data available) 

• 9 out of 10 people with kidney disease are unaware they have it, and half of those with severely reduced kidney function (but not yet on dialysis) do not know they have kidney disease. 

• About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes may have kidney disease. Diabetes is the top cause of kidney failure, causing nearly half (45%) of new cases. 

• 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure may have kidney disease. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney failure, causing 28% of new cases. 

• For every two women who develop kidney failure, three men develop kidney failure. However, kidney disease is more common in women than men (14.3% vs. 12.4%). 

• There are more than 90,000 Americans on the kidney transplant waiting list, but in 2022, just 26,309 — or about 1 in 4 — were able to get a kidney. There were 5,863 living donor transplants performed in the U.S. last year. 

• The shortage of available donor kidneys means that the vast majority of people who develop kidney failure are treated with dialysis. Of the 130,000 Americans newly diagnosed with kidney failure in 2020 (most recent data), nearly 97% of them began dialysis. Only 3,979 were able to receive a preemptive kidney transplant. 

 

Basic facts about kidney disease

• Kidney disease is the fastest-growing noncommunicable disease in the U.S. 

• 37 million Americans have kidney disease and millions more are at risk 

• Kidney disease is a silent killer, usually with no signs or symptoms until the late stages 

• Kidney disease is one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. It kills more people each year than breast or prostate cancer. 

• Kidney disease can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and death 

• Kidney disease can often be prevented, and the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure can often be slowed down or stopped 

• While early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms, simple blood and urine tests can tell how well your kidneys are working. If you’re at risk, talk to your doctor about getting tested. 

• Early detection saves lives. Kidney disease is not reversible, but it is treatable. When caught and treated early, it’s often possible to slow or stop the progression of kidney disease and avoid serious complications like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and death.  

• Your kidneys are vital organs — just like your heart, lungs and liver. Your kidneys clean your blood, help control your blood pressure, help make red blood cells and keep your bones healthy. 

• Being physically active, keeping a healthy weight, consuming a kidney-friendly foods and fluids and getting tested for kidney disease can help protect your kidneys. Even small changes can make a big difference. 

 

What are the five stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Each stage is based on the eGFR number and has different symptoms and treatments. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) shows how well the kidneys are filtering.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) test is a blood test that’s used to figure out how well your kidneys are doing their job. It shows the amount of creatinine in your blood, which is a waste product of your kidneys. A normal eGFR is 60 or more, but it may change over time and indicate kidney damage or disease.

 

Stage 1 of CKD

Stage 1 CKD means you have a normal eGFR of 90 or greater and mild damage to your kidneys. Your kidneys are still working well, so you may not have any symptoms. You may have other signs of kidney damage, such as protein in your urine.

 

Stage 2 of CKD

Stage 2 CKD means your eGFR has gone down to between 60 and 89, and you have mild damage to your kidneys. Most of the time, your kidneys are still working well, so you may not have any symptoms. You may have other signs of kidney damage, such as protein in your urine or physical damage. 

 

Stage 3 of CKD

Stage 3 CKD means you have an eGFR between 30 and 59 and mild to moderate damage to your kidneys. Your kidneys do not work as well as they should to filter waste and extra fluid out of your blood. This waste can build up in your body and begin to cause other health problems, such as high blood pressure and bone disease. You may begin to have symptoms, such as feeling weak and tired or swelling in your hands or feet. 

Stage 3 CKD is split into two substages based on your eGFR:

• Stage 3a means you have an eFGR between 45 and 59

• Stage 3b means you have an eGFR between 30 and 44

With treatment and healthy life changes, many people in Stage 3 do not move to Stage 4 or Stage 5.

 

Stage 4 of CKD

Stage 4 CKD means you have an eGFR between 15 and 29 and moderate to severe damage to your kidneys. Your kidneys do not work as well as they should to filter waste out of your blood. This waste can build up in your body and cause other health problems, such as high blood pressure, bone disease and heart disease. You will likely have symptoms such as swelling of your hands and feet and pain in your lower back. 

This is the last stage before kidney failure. It is important to have regular visits with a nephrologist (kidney doctor) to take steps to slow kidney damage and plan ahead for possible treatments for kidney failure.

 

Stage 5 of CKD

Stage 5 CKD means you have an eGFR less than 15 and severe damage to your kidneys. Your kidneys are getting very close to failure or have already failed (stopped working). Because your kidneys have stopped working to filter waste out of your blood, waste products build up in your body, which can make you very sick and cause other health problems. When your kidneys fail, treatment options to survive include dialysis or a kidney transplant. 

 

Types of Chronic Kidney Disease

 

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic (runs in families) disorder that causes cysts (growths filled with fluid) to form on your kidneys and other organs. These cysts can lower your kidney’s ability to filter fluid and waste from your blood. Over time, PKD can cause kidney failure. There is no cure for PKD, but treatments can slow the growth of the cysts and prevent PKD symptoms from causing health problems.

 

APOL1-Mediated Kidney Disease

Learn about a genetic variation in the APOL1 gene which can increase the chance of kidney disease among people who have Western and Central African ancestry, this can include people who identify as Black, African American, Afro-Caribbean, and/or Latina/Latino. 

 

Lupus nephritis

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to attack your healthy cells. Lupus can affect many parts of the body. When your immune system attacks your kidneys, it is called lupus nephritis.

 

Glomerulonephritis (Glomerular Disease)

Your kidneys contain more than a million glomeruli (gluh-MER-you-lie), which are tiny filters that remove waste and fluid from your blood. If anything damages your glomeruli, which is called glomerulonephritis (gluh-mer-you-low-ne-FRY-tis), they cannot do this job as well. If not treated, glomerulonephritis can lead to serious kidney problems, including kidney failure.

 

IgA nephropathy

IgA nephropathy is a rare disease that causes kidney damage when your own immune system produces antibodies in your kidneys. This then triggers harmful inflammation in your kidneys. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and infection. This process lowers your kidneys’ ability to filter waste and fluid from your blood. There is no cure for IgA nephropathy, but treatments can slow the damage to your kidneys.

 

Cystinosis

Cystinosis is a rare disorder that allows a natural chemical called cystine to build up in your body and cause health problems. Kidney damage from cystinosis can cause kidney failure. People with cystinosis must take medicine to lower their cystine levels and may need a kidney transplant. Cystinosis is genetic (runs in families) and is most often diagnosed in young babies.

 

Complement 3 glomerulopathy (C3G)

C3 glomerulopathy (glo-mer-u-lop-a-thy) is a disease that affects how well your kidneys work. It causes damage to structures in the kidneys called glomeruli (glo-mer-yuh-lahy) Glomeruli help the kidneys filter toxins out of your blood.

 

aHUS (atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome)

aHUS (atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome) is a very rare genetic disease that causes tiny blood clots to form in your blood vessels, blocking blood flow to important organs. aHUS can cause kidney failure, heart disease and other serious health problems. While there is no known cure for aHUS, it can be treated.

 

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a rare type of kidney disease that causes scarring in the filters of the kidneys. FSGS can make it hard for your kidneys to filter waste, which can lead to kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).

 

Interstitial nephritis

Interstitial nephritis is a kidney disease that lowers your kidneys’ ability to clean your blood and make urine (pee). Usually it is caused by a reaction to a medicine you take and stopping that medicine solves the problem.

 

Fabry disease

Fabry disease is a rare genetic disorder that can be passed down from parent to child. It runs in families, so several members of the same family often have it. Current estimates report that Fabry disease is found in roughly 1 in 40,000 males and 1 in 20,000 females.

 

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a rare disease of the blood vessels that can damage your lungs, kidneys and other parts of your body by lowering the amount of blood that can flow to them. It can get worse quickly and it is important to treat it early to prevent permanent organ damage, such as kidney failure.

 

Primary hyperoxaluria and oxalate

Primary hyperoxaluria (pronounced preye-merr-ee heye-per-oxal-yur-ee-a) is a rare liver disease. The liver is an organ that converts everything you eat or drink into nutrients and gets rid of toxins. With primary hyperoxaluria, your liver does not make enough of a certain protein to prevent oxalate (a natural chemical in your body) from building up in your body. Oxalate builds up in the kidneys and causes kidney stones and kidney damage.

 

Minimal change disease

Minimal change disease (MCD) is a condition that damages the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, which can affect how well your kidneys work. It is more common in children than in adults. Doctors can manage or cure MCD with the right treatment.

 

Read an article about me published by Donate Life Northwest at https://www.donatelifenw.org/stories-of-hope/trisha-studer.

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