Free kid­ney screen­ing could be a lifesaver

The Washington Times Daily - - Life - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: For years, I suf­fered from high blood pres­sure and di­a­betes. I never had a clue they are the two lead­ing causes of kid­ney fail­ure. Af­ter read­ing in your col­umn about Na­tional Kid­ney Month, I de­cided to take your sug­ges­tion and go to the Na­tional Kid­ney Foun­da­tion web­site at kid­ney.org.

When I at­tended a free screen­ing through the Kid­ney Early Eval­u­a­tion Pro­gram (KEEP), I found out that high blood pres­sure can dam­age the kid­neys’ fil­ter­ing units, that di­a­betes is the No. 1 risk fac­tor for kid­ney dis­ease and how im­por­tant it is to keep them both un­der con­trol.

That screen­ing was a wake-up call for me. I now take in­sulin for my di­a­betes and med­i­ca­tion for my blood pres­sure. I have cut out salt and starch, added lots of veg­eta­bles to my diet, and 30 min­utes on the sta­tion­ary bike to my daily rou­tine. My ef­forts have paid off. Last year when I was screened again at the KEEP, I learned my kid­ney func­tion has in­creased.

Tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are at risk for kid­ney dis­ease. Won’t you please re­mind your readers again how im­por­tant it is to be screened? For me, it was a lifesaver. — JERRYDEAN QUEEN, NEW OR­LEANS

DEAR JERRYDEAN: I’m pleased my col­umn alerted you to your risk for kid­ney dis­ease, and that you caught it in time.

Readers, March 8 is World Kid­ney Day. The Na­tional Kid­ney Foun­da­tion is again urg­ing Amer­i­cans to learn the risk fac­tors for kid­ney dis­ease and be screened so you can pre­vent dam­age to these vi­tal or­gans. For ad­vice on how to stay healthy and a sched­ule of free screen­ings — not only dur­ing March but also through­out the year — visit the Na­tional Kid­ney Foun­da­tion on­line at kid­ney.org. DEAR ABBY: Some­one gave a very in­ap­pro­pri­ate eu­logy for some­one my fam­ily cares about dearly. Is it worth it to say some­thing to him? “Al­ton” lost his mother, a re­ally good per­son who was loved by many, and he at­tacked her dur­ing his eu­logy.

Al­ton shared quite a few de­tails about his mother’s life that no one needed to know. The bot­tom line is, she was a good per­son who made some mis­takes to­ward the end of her life. Al­ton is ar­ro­gant and mean and has a long his­tory of ver­bally at­tack­ing fam­ily mem­bers.

Peo­ple are still talk­ing about the eu­logy. There were in­di­vid­u­als at the ser­vice who called him names, and a few walked out in tears. Word spread to peo­ple in other states within min­utes af­ter the ser­vice ended.

Is it worth point­ing out to an ar­ro­gant jerk that his eu­logy was ap­palling and has caused a lot of anger? Should one of us step for­ward and say some­thing to him, or just chalk it up to “once a jerk, al­ways a jerk”? — COULDN’T BE­LIEVE MY EARS IN ARI­ZONA

DEAR COULDN’T BE­LIEVE YOUR EARS: I vote no, be­cause I se­ri­ously doubt that any­thing you could say would shame an ar­ro­gant, mean jerk into ad­mit­ting he made a mis­take by speak­ing dis­re­spect­fully of his mother at her fu­neral. A bet­ter way to han­dle it would be for those who were of­fended to avoid him. A deaf­en­ing si­lence may con­vey the mes­sage more loudly than words.

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