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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Talking to Your Family About Kidney Disease

Why should my family know about kidney disease?

  • Kidney disease runs in families.

  • Even if only one person in a family has kidney failure, all blood relatives should be tested for kidney disease.

  • With early treatment, kidney disease can be slowed and dialysis or a transplant may be avoided.

What should I tell my family about kidney disease?

Tell your family that:

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure.

  • Control of blood sugar and blood pressure may help the kidneys stay healthy.

  • They should get tested for kidney disease because it runs in families.

How can I help my family prevent kidney failure?

Tell your family members to talk to their doctors about getting tested for kidney disease. Doing this may be difficult, but it can help save their lives.

What should my family members ask their doctors?

  • Tell your family members to ask their doctors to test their blood and urine for kidney damage.

  • These tests are the only way to find out if they have kidney disease because there are no early warning signs.

  • Finding kidney disease early and treating it can slow kidney damage and may prevent kidney failure.

T.E.S.T. your family members

  • Teach them that kidney disease runs in families.

  • Encourage them to get tested for kidney disease.

  • Support their efforts to control their diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Tell them where they can find more information.

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