Tag Archives: kidney disease

Race, ethnicity and kidney disease


African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are at high risk for developing kidney failure. This risk is due in part to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in these communities. Is this risk genetically pre-determined and further assisted with inferior diet choices? Will it be inethical for your doctor to advice you based on your ethnicity, if you face a higher chance of getting kidney failure in the future, based on genetically supported scientific data?  Below (under related articles) is more information about kidney failure for each of these groups, prevention and maintenance steps.
Kidney Disease

Rising diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure. Since the year 2000, the number of Hispanics with kidney failure has increased by more than 70 percent. While African Americans account for only 13 percent of the population, they account for more than 32 percent of the population with kidney failure.

Diabetes
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, and are African American, you must strongly consider getting checked for kidney disease. Read more. Diabetes is the number one cause for kidney failure among African Americans, and high blood pressure is a close second. The goal is to keep blood pressure below 130/80, suggests the National Institute of Health.

High sugar diets can lead to diabetes. The fact is that ready-made food is made more appealing by adding sweeteners. Also, several cheap alternatives to sugar may be more dangerous than sugar itself. The poorer the person, the likelier that person is to choose a cheaper food, which might be sweetened to make up for the lack of taste from fresh food. Eating such sweetened food too often can lead to higher risk of diabetes. It is not surprising that the poorer people are getting more obese – another side reaction to eating sweetened food and drinking sweetened beverages. Diabetic persons are frequently obese from such food and beverage choices.  You might want to read “For the First Time in Human History, Overweight People Outnumber the Underfed“, by blogger Mother Nature’s Diet. Scientists have known for several decades that this obesity epidemic is restricted to specific, inferior diet choices, and dictated by differences in the genes inherited from family. Certain ethnic groups will get more obese simply because they do not inherit the genes required to “digest” or “metabolize” inferior food choices. Will it be inethical of the doctor to tell them that the eight year old, 300 pound little child is obese because of her ethnicity, dictated by the genes she inherited from her family, not giving her the ability to digest her fatty and sweetened school lunch? Which country has the highest obesity? Which country has the highest percentage of obese people? You might enjoy reading that the answer to the first is Mexico and the second is Nauru, a small country in the South Pacific (their inherited genes) in “Is this a Good Thing“, which summarizes the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture report.

A refreshing, non-scientific travel observation by blogger gaelic girl on “Victoria’s view: Why are Americans so obese compared to the Irish“, discusses smaller food portions, organic groceries, walking instead of using automobiles for errands, and higher rate of smoking among the Irish. It does not discuss their inherited genetics, since it isn’t scientific, but nonetheless, brings up excellent discussion topics on how to prevent obesity perhaps with the above life style choices, based on the observation that Irish people are a lot skinnier than the Americans, and are not even on the top 25 in the list of obese countries by United Nation’s Food and Agriculture report.

Genetically, there are certain ethnic groups far more at risk for diabetes and high-blood pressure and hence, kidney disease. The genes and junk regions around the genes that you inherited from your parents do define you (Read more). You might wonder why your friend can eat the same foods as you and yet not gain any weight or be at risk for diabetes, while you could be getting obese and at risk for getting diabetes followed by kidney disease.

High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another indicator/ risk factor of kidney disease with significant ethnic differences.

….compared to Caucasians, Afro‐Caribbeans and people of African descent have a higher incidence of stroke and end‐stage renal failure, whereas coronary artery disease is less common. Conversely, South‐Asians (defined as people originating from the Indian subcontinent and East Africa) have a higher incidence of coronary heart disease….

Read more. Quoted above from a study of patients in the United Kingdom, such ratios are similar in other developed countries with rising rates of high blood pressure.

In a landmark study, 18 genes have been discovered to be co-related with most of the deaths from heart disease, Britain’s biggest killer. Read more. A few ethnic groups account for most of the deaths from this killer disease, because they inherit these culprit genes from their families.

Getting to know your family takes on a whole new meaning with the knowledge that your biological inheritance from your family also determines your health and longevity. However, this same knowledge allows you to take prevention steps from this moment. You may have to have more self-control than a friend who lacks the culprit genes, but it may save your life.

Related Articles
Race, Ethnicity and Kidney Disease – National Kidney Disease Education Program. to learn more about kidney disease in each specific race.
How the biological inheritance from your parents defines you
Should we risk taking calcium supplementation with risk of heart attack, bones breaking and kidney disease?
Mineral balance is critical for healthy body functions – Role of the kidneys and increasing kidney disease
Kidney care and okra
Kidney care and natural nutrition
What are the five stages of kidney disease?
What African Americans with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure need to know and steps to take forward.

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What are the five stages of kidney disease?


There are five stages in kidney disease and in the fifth stage dialysis may be suggested by a health care provider. The five stages are described here and are determined from a blood test which measures creatinine levels. The alternative to dialysis is to wait for a kidney transplant. Some people have a second choice – to face the rest of the life knowing that their kidneys are no longer functioning properly. Which is alright too because it is the cycle of life. If life has been generally good, then it may be time to prepare to say goodbye with dignity and with a smile. It may be fabulous to check out the movie, “The Bucket list” and enjoy the last few years (in some cases it maybe months) doing all you have always wanted to do and eat all you have always wanted to eat.

What if you choose not to have dialysis? You die naturally with a build up of toxins.

What if you choose to have dialysis? You die from a heart attack or from an infection.

Life expectancy is extended with dialysis in 1 out of 4 people in the oldest age group, with a dialysis program of 5 hours a day, every other day and restricted diet (Author: Comfort Care Choices). A much younger, healthier person may be offered a kidney transplant option and then dialysis is ended.

 

What is life? Life is about looking around you with amazement and wondering how every one of us lives, breathes and exists in the same space, with the same atmospheric elements and yet, each one is so unique. Well, that unique life has a beginning, a middle and an end. When others depend on us, it is valuable to take good care of our health. When, we begin to depend on others to continue living, then the real questions begin. When does one draw the line on extending existence with artificial living features, such as dialysis? Is it life? When does one say good bye with dignity? Would it not be more fun to choose a ‘do it all’ attitude instead of a fearful, prolonged extension of life with an artificial heart pumping, steel replacing are hinges, stem cells replacing our organs, etc. When do we say enough is enough?

I would advise to frankly ask your doctor questions that are important to you. Do you want to live forever and finances is not an issue? Then, say that. If you want to have least number of artificial factory built structures keeping you alive and sometimes, keeping you alive but bedridden, then say that. Be honest with yourself. Do you have money to spend on simply breathing, even if bedridden or do you have money to spend the last few years of your ‘walking’ life seeing new places or simply watching your neighbors children playing on the riverside (if your own live far away). Once you know how you want your own life to look like for the rest few years, then approach your doctor to ask about the dialysis program. The truth will set you free!

Anyway, I will continue to update you about kidney disease, dialysis and diet (to prolong life). Your comments are appreciated to let me know if I should continue on certain topics. Would you choose life with or without dialysis?

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