According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease affects 30 million Americans, which is 15% of the American population. This figure is higher than previously believed, and is based on data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Chronic Kidney Disease can be defined as a condition in which the kidneys cannot filter blood as well as healthy kidneys, because they have been damaged in some way. Because of this, wastes from the blood remain in the body and may lead to other health problems.
Kidney Disease Facts:
One in seven American adults, or 30 million people, are estimated to have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). One in three are at risk for developing CKD.
- 96% of those with early kidney disease (stages 1 and 2) don’t know they have CKD.
- Even among those with severely reduced kidney function, (stage 4 but not on dialysis), 48% are not aware of having the disease.
- Women (16%) are more likely than men to be affected by CKD (13%). However, men are 64% more likely than women to progress to end stage renal disease (ESRD), the stage when kidneys stop working and dialysis or a transplant is to preserve life.
- High-risk factors include: Adults with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a family history of CKD, race/ethnicity and acute kidney injury. (However, many people suffer from CDK even when they do not fall into these categories. My own kidney condition, for example, was a result of a birth defect. To read my own personal history with CDK, click here.)
“These new statistics from the CDC serve as a warning bell that a major public health challenge is right in front of our eyes and more must be done to address it,” said the CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and, himself, a kidney transplant patient. “Leaders in the healthcare industry need to prioritize CKD for the costly, impactful disease that it is—the earlier we can diagnose someone with kidney disease the better their long-term outcomes.”
Symptoms, Testing & Treatment
- People with CKD may not feel ill or notice symptoms. The only way to find out for sure if you have CKD is through specific blood and urine tests. These tests include measurement of creatinine in blood and protein in urine.
- Once detected, CKD may be addressed through lifestyle changes, including making healthier choices about food and drink, and can often be treated with medications. These approaches and treatments may keep CKD from getting worse and may prevent additional health problems from developing, such as heart disease.
- People with diabetes or high blood pressure who are diagnosed with CKD should talk to their doctor about treating these conditions to keep their blood sugar and blood pressure under control and lower their risk for kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease, which is why I have decided to raise funds for the NKF by racing solo in the 2017 Baja 1000.
My Race for Kidney Health Awareness
To prove that there is life with one kidney, I will Ironman the upcoming Baja 1000. At the age of 62, I will be the oldest motocross rider to attempt such a challenge. And I am doing it to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation.
About the Baja 1000
Promoted by SCORE International Off-Road Racing, the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 will feature hundreds of off-road racing legends. This year’s event will be held from November 14-18, 2017 in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The first official race started in Tijuana, Baja California, on October 31, 1967, and was named the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally. The race allows various types of riders to compete in different vehicle classes, from small and large bore motorcycles, stock Volkswagens, production vehicles, buggies, trucks, and custom fabricated race vehicles. The course has remained relatively the same over the years, alternating featuring a point-to-point race from Ensenada to La Paz, or a loop starting and finishing in Ensenada.