Are your kidneys healthy? Find out

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2010

March is National Kidney Month. The Natchez Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is partnering with the Mississippi Kidney Foundation to bring awareness of chronic kidney disease to the Natchez area.

The Mississippi Kidney Foundation sponsors free kidney screenings, known as Renal Assessment and Evaluation Program (R.E.A.P.), throughout the state of Mississippi. This will be the first screening in our area.

Chronic kidney disease is the loss of the ability to use our kidneys. The state of Mississippi ranks among the top in the nation with people diagnosed with kidney disease.

Kidney disease, like cancer or heart disease, is also a silent killer. The disease often develops slowly and with few symptoms.

Many people with kidney disease often do not realize they have any problems until the disease has advanced and they require dialysis as treatment.

Although more than 31 million Americans suffer with kidney disease, most are not even aware of the problem.

Among those affected, the African American population is four times more likely to develop kidney disease than any other race.

The African American population accounts for more than half of the patients diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease in Mississippi.

People most at risk for kidney disease include anyone with a medical history of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family member with kidney disease.

The prevalence of these risk factors, along with obesity and an aging population are the causes that chronic kidney disease is a rapidly growing health problem in the United States.

If you have any of these risk factors listed above, the Mississippi Kidney Foundation would like to invite you to participate in a free health screening.

Tests include a full renal panel, complete blood count and cholesterol check. On-site tests include blood pressure, blood sugar and urinalysis.

Maybe it is you, a family member or even a friend who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.

If so, join the Natchez Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Mississippi Kidney Foundation Saturday at the Alcorn State University School of Nursing auditorium, 15 Campus Drive in Natchez, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The health screening is free and the cost of saving your life is priceless. Call 1-800-232-1592 to register.

Kristi Lewis is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.