Healthy Connections Spring 2020: Kidney Health

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Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

Kidneys are constantly filtering blood and removing waste from our bodies. They process approximately 200 liters of fluid every 24 hours, and their activity is vital to good health. They affect the body’s chemical makeup, regulate blood pressure and help maintain optimal electrolyte balance. You can keep your kidneys healthy by being active, controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking plenty of fluids, limiting over-the counter medication use, not smoking and knowing your risks.

With high rates of diabetes in our region, chronic kidney disease is common, especially among African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans. People over 60 and those with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or obesity (or a family history of these conditions) are also at higher risk.

“Early detection is very important for avoiding end-stage kidney disease,” says Lorenzo Santarina, MD, FACP, chief of medical staff at Vidant North Hospital. “We recommend that primary care providers monitor the renal function of their patients annually or every three to six months, depending on the stage of the patient’s kidney disease. Patients with renal disease should be referred to a kidney specialist for proper management and care.”


Vidant North reminds you that we offer inpatient kidney services, including dialysis and diagnostic imaging (ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs and flow scans to check blood flow in the kidneys). You can access outpatient kidney services through our partnership with Fresenius Kidney Care. Dialysis procedures are performed by board-certified nephrologists, trained nurses and certified technicians.


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