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  Chat Transcript
Open Q & A and Kidney Health - Elva Parker, C.D.E., Dr. Amol Shrikhande, The Nephrology Associates and Elissa Rowley, National Kidney Foundation - September 10, 2013

 Elva@Unity:

 Welcome to our guests this evening, Dr. Shirkhande(Nephrologist from Nephrology Associates) and Elissa Rowley. Let’s get started!

Elva@Unity:  
Dr. Shirkhande, this evening we are talking about kidney health. Could you tell us what the functions of the kidneys are? 
Dr. Shrikhande: 
 Thanks for having us. The kidneys (there are 2) clean the blood and get rid of waste products in the form of urine.
 Elva@Unity:  
 What is chronic kidney disease or CKD?
 Dr. Shrikhande: 
CKD is defined as having abnormal kidney function (as per blood test) or abnormal kidney imaging for more than 3 months. 
  Elva@Unity:  
 Thank you! What blood test would indicate abnormal kidney function?
  Dr. Shrikhande: 
 The blood test is called creatinine. If this is high in the blood, the kidneys are not cleaning the blood properly.
 Elva@Unity:   
 What about the GFR? Is that an important number for someone with diabetes to know?
 Dr. Shrikhande: 
 Absolutely. The creatinine value can be plugged into a mathematical estimation formula to give the GFR.
  Dr. Shrikhande: 
The GFR should be about 100 or so. Anything less may indicate CKD. 
  Elva@Unity:   
 What is a normal GFR and how often should it be checked for someone with diabetes?
Dr. Shrikhande:  
Diabetic patients should have GFR checked twice a year or more. Diabetes is the most common cause of CKD in the U.S. 
Elva@Unity:    
 What are the warning signs of kidney disease, Dr. Shrikhande?
 Dr. Shrikhande:  
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms early on. Therefore, having the blood test is critical. Also, a urine sample should be given to check for protein in the urine which is an early sign of diabetic kidney disease. 
Elva@Unity:     
What can someone with diabetes do to protect their kidneys?
 Dr. Shrikhande:   
Controlling the blood sugar is critical. Blood pressure control is also important. Smoking must be stopped. Finally, certain medications which injure the kidneys should be limited.
 Elva@Unity:     
Can kidney disease be treated successfully? 
 Dr. Shrikhande: 
Yes it can! If kidney disease is found, doing the above 4 things can prevent disease progression.  
 Elva@Unity: 
 Thank you very much, Dr. Shrikhande, for your help! Elissa, thank you for joining us from the National Kidney Foundation. Could you tell us a bit about the NKF and about the upcoming Kidney Walk?
 Elissa@NKF:
 Absolutely. Thank you for the warm welcome. The mission of the NKF (Serving Upstate and Western NY) is to education the general public on what the kidneys do, what CKD is, and ways to prevent it. In addition, we aim to provide local medical professionals with information about advancements pertaining to the treatment of CKD by hosting CME/CE credit programs.
Elva@Unity:  
 Where and when is the Kidney Walk?
 Elissa@NKF:
 The 2013 Rochester Walk coming up on Sunday, Septmeber 15 at Frontier Field. It is a fundraising event, but it is also an opportunity for people in the community to come together and honor those living with CKD and those who have been lost to the disease. The Walk is also an opportunity to continue our mission of educating the community about their possible risk for kidney disease and what steps to take to prevent it.
 Elva@Unity:  
Excellent! We will hope for great weather and lots of walkers! Thank you for you information, Elissa! 
 Elva@Unity:  
 That’s all the time we have for today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that I was able to provide some insight for you. If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Tuesday, September 24 at 8 p.m. with Cassie Wright, a Certified Diabetes Educator and Dr. Bingham, Endocrinologist from Unity Diabetes & Endocrinology Services. They will be holding an open Q&A session and sharing tips for living and eating well to manage your blood sugars. And don’t forget to check out the National Kidney Walk on September 15!
 
 
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