The State of Texas Kidney Foundation does FREE screenings

March 8, 2017

The State of Texas Kidney Foundation does FREE screenings every month. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or a family history of kidney disease don’t wait to get screened.


When University Transplant Center patient David Rodriguez was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in 2008, doctors noticed Rodriguez was in need of a transplant.

By September of 2008, Rodriguez was put under dialysis and was placed on the transplant waiting list in December 2008. After many trips to the hospital and doing research, he finally received his kidney on Aug. 4, 2011 and has been on a mission to raise awareness about the kidney disease since then.

“I used to live in Austin where I had a career working for a legal practice as a legal assistant, and when I got diagnosed with Kidney failure, my life took a 180 degree turn,” Rodriguez, 45, told La Prensa. “My world turned upside down, and the only way that I could move forward is through acceptance. I say that you have two doors when facing kidney failure: you can get depressed or you can do something about it.”

This month, the Texas Kidney Foundation (TKF) is raising awareness about National Kidney Month with World Kidney Month on March 9. The TKF celebrates its importance by adding additional free screenings to its schedule.

The free screening program, Texas Kidney Check, has screened more the 6,000 people in the last three years. Since 2013, TKF has conducted more free kidney screenings than any other nonprofit kidney organization in Texas.

TKF is headquartered in San Antonio and is proud to be the leading nonprofit provider of free screenings for early signs of kidney disease. The foundation also hosts various events throughout the year to educate health professionals and individuals on research advances and up-to-date information on kidney disease.

“A blood test is the most common measurement of how significant the damage is in the kidney,” said Dr. Bruce Brockway, nephrologist at the Kidney Treatment Center. “The severity is monitored by the ability of the kidneys to clean waste from the blood, and a blood test that measures pertinent data tells us how well the kidneys are doing in their job.”

Hispanics are almost 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with kidney failure, stated the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) and the ESRD Network 2014 Annual Report. In 2016, it was reported that 2,941 patients in San Antonio and 4,500 patients in Bexar County are receiving dialysis.

In order to reduce your risk of being diagnosed or if you are diagnosed, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Manage diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease – Kidney disease is a secondary illness that stems from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. It is estimated that 50 percent of people who have diabetes develop kidney problems, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular kidney function tests. Controlling sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure by following medication guidelines and an annual health check-up is good for all those above 40 years of age.
  • Reduce the intake of salt – Salt increases the amount of sodium in diet. It not only increases blood pressure but also triggers the formation of kidney stones. Restricting salt to five or six grams per day, which equals one teaspoon, is beneficial along with swapping processed food with fresh ingredients.
  • Drink lots of water every day – Drinking at least 4-6 glasses of water per day is recommended for a healthy kidney. People who have already had kidney stones are advised to drink 2 to 3 liters of water daily to lessen the risk of forming new stones. It helps the body to maintain blood volume and concentration. It also helps in digestion and controls the body temperature.
  • Don’t resist the urge to urinate – Filtration of blood is a key function that your kidneys perform. When the process of filtration is done, extra amount of wastes and water is stored in the bladder that needs to be excreted. Although your bladder can only hold a lot of urine, the urge to urinate is felt when the bladder is filled with 120-150 ml. So, if you start ignoring the urge to go to the restroom, the urinary bladder stretches more than its capacity. This affects the filtration process of the kidney and also puts you at risk of kidney stones.
  • Replace bad habits with good ones – Excess intake of alcohol can disturb the electrolyte balance of the body and hormonal control that influences the kidney function; and smoking reduces kidney function significantly. Exercising, eating healthy and controlling portion size can surely help you to lose extra weight and enhance kidney health.

For more information about National Kidney and where to get a free screening, visit www.txkidney.org

SOURCE: La Prensa
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