Education

Dec
27
Natural Disaster or Weather Emergency- What do I do?


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When you are dependent on your medical team for physician visits, dialysis, and medications to sustain life. An emergency, natural disaster or any possible interruption to access should be planned for. First always look ahead. Ensuring that you have at least a 2 weeks supply of medication and food stores can help you if you are unable to leave your home. Make sure you have a copy of your mediation list, insurance cards, and medical conditions at home as well. Second, always have a backup location you can reach, if you are unable to visit your preferred hospital or dialysis center. Third, physician’s visits. If you suspect your office may be closed due to weather conditions and you a...


Dec
27
The Kidney Diet



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What you eat is a big part of how you live. Your quality of life is dependent on the way you treat your body. This is especially true if you are battling Kidney Disease. Our bodies need a good balance of calories (protein, carbohydrates, and fats), electrolytes, phosphorus, calcium, and many other vitamins and minerals to perform. Kidney Disease can affect the way our bodies process and produce these vital building blocks. Let’s look at the parts of our diet, and how we can better understand their roles within our bodies. Need to track your diet? Consider using the Davita diet helper for help and guidance.




What are Proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of every cell in your body. ...


Dec
27
Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease



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Knowing what stage of CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease can help you understand the significance of your situation. Chronic Kidney Disease is the loss of Kidney function over time. This loss is categorized into 5 distinct stages, with stage 3 being split into two parts.




Stage 1- You have kidney damage, but your kidneys are still functioning at a rate of over 90%
Stage 2- Kidney damage with a mild loss of kidney function. Kidneys are functioning at 89-60%
Stage 3a- Mild to moderate loss of kidney function with kidneys functioning at 59-45%
Stage 3b- Moderate to severe loss of kidney function with kidneys functioning at 44-30%
Stage 4- Severe loss of kidney function with kidneys functioning at 29-15...


Dec
27
Medication list, should I have a copy?



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Yes, yes and YES! Your medication list can become the difference between major medical complications and a long health life. The medications you have been prescribed, by any number of physicians, can have severe reactions to one another. It is very important that you keep and update your list at every visit. Here are some great tips on how to keep an updated medication list.



1: Use a medical portal online such as www.followmyhealth.com and keep your medications updated digitally.



2: Ask for a copy at every visit, after you have been prescribed new medications, to carry with you.



3: Create a list in the notes section of your smart-phone and update it with your physician or nurse at every visi...


Dec
27
Questions to ask your Nephrologist



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Why am I here?


• That is the most common question we receive here in our office. It is possible you were referred to us by another physician, a hospital, or a care facility. You may not really be sure what is going on with your body, other than you are here to see a doctor. This is an important question to ask your nephrology team, so that you can be comfortable and understand your medical condition.




Why aren’t my kidneys working properly?


• This is also a common and useful question to ask your care team. Your individual case will vary but understanding your specific condition, and its potential cause, may help us get to the bottom of it and develop a treatment plan that work...


Dec
27
Medical ID bracelet, should I get one?


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Identifying your medical conditions, when you are unable to verbally communicate them, can be the difference between life and death. Medical ID jewelry and cards have been around for a long time, but some patients overlook this asset. Housing your medical data can be as simple as having a card in your wallet or involve a piece of custom jewelry. Either option you choose can have a great benefit if you have been or are susceptible to severe medical events. Notifications such as “I am diabetic”, “I am allergic to ___”, “I have chronic Kidney disease”, “I take special medication”, or “I have had a transplant”, are examples of medica...


Jun
11
Swelling

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Feeling a little puffy? When we retain fluid, specifically around our hands, legs, feet, and face, it can mean our bodies are trying to tell us something. Why does this happen? One cause is, too much sodium, or salt in our diets can be one reason. When we take in too much sodium our blood retains more fluid. The excess fluid is then dumped into surrounding tissues by our capillaries (small blood vessels) This extra fluid triggers our kidneys to retain even more fluid, making it difficult for our bodies to eliminate it.

Another cause of swelling (or edema) is called Nephrotic syndrome. This is when the kidneys release a protein called albumin into the urine. This specific protein regulates ...


Jun
11
Kidney Disease and the Flu Shot

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Should you have it? Can you have it?


Cold and Flu season is unavoidable! Every year the number of individuals affected rises and the death rates increase. The flu is a serious illness even for a healthy person, but what about a chronic kidney disease patient? The risks our patients face is much more serious and unique. With your bodies weakened state, it can make fighting off any unexpected illness even more challenging. The first step to a good offense is a good defense, right? That is why we recommend our chronic kidney patients consult with their care team about the importance of the flu shot. Here at Iowa Kidney Physicians, you can receive your flu shot during your visit. While the flu...