Blog
World Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Awareness Month, and March 9th is World Kidney Day. Most of us don’t think much about our kidneys, until something goes wrong.

Your kidneys are important. Although only the size of your fist, these power houses make urine, remove waste from your blood, control blood pressure, make red blood cells and much, much more.

It may surprise you to know that 1 in 9 Americans has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Did you know that if CKD progresses to End-Stage (ESRD or End-Stage Renal Disease), there are only three choices left to manage your kidney health? Shockingly, many people don't. These three choices are dialysis, transplant, or death.

At Renalogic, our primary focus is three-fold. We work to prevent kidney disease for those who are at risk, preserve renal or kidney function for those who have kidney disease, and reduce the cost of replacement therapy. Here's how our CKD Management program works:

      Prevent kidney disease: If you are at risk for kidney disease, learn how to prevent it! Our nurses are skilled at teaching and encouraging members to focus on factors they have personal control over. This helps to not only reduce the risk for kidney disease – but this also improve overall well-being and general health. If you have heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, frequent and recurring kidney stones, incomplete bladder emptying – you could be at risk for kidney disease.
      Preserve renal function: If you have kidney disease, learn how to manage the conditions that lead to kidney disease, follow your prescribed diet and fluid restriction, and be sure to take your medications properly. Work closely with your doctor and/or nurse coach to learn what you can do to improve your kidney health.
      Reduce costs: Learning to take proper care of your health can save you money. Working with your Renalogic team, we can help to ensure you are aware of programs that can help ease the economic burden of kidney disease.

It is important to remember that kidney disease certainly can be prevented. Talk to us or your doctor today to find out how!

Heart Health with Renalogic

At Renalogic, we LOVE talking about kidneys, of course!

When talking about kidney health, one naturally thinks about heart health. Makes sense, right? –The plumbing in the heart is the same plumbing in the kidneys – and while we’re at it – the brain, the liver, the toes! If you have cardiovascular issues: issues relating to the heart and vasculature (plumbing), it’s important to note that the same problems are everywhere.

If one has atherosclerosis, for example, what we see is a buildup and hardening of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels supplying the heart. Keep in mind, that the blood vessels supply nutrients and oxygen to EVERY body part. So the hardening isn’t just in the heart – it’s everywhere the blood vessels are: brain, eyes, liver, toes – everywhere. If blood pressures are too high – it’s too high EVERYWHERE!

This is why we often talk to kidney patients, or people at risk for kidney issues, including CKD (chronic kidney disease) about heart heath. Everything you do to protect your heart, will also help protect your kidneys!

Your kidneys have the job of filtering every drop of blood in the body. To do this, they must have adequate supply of blood to filter. When blood supply is restricted due to narrow arteries, too high pressure or viscosity as we see in things like diabetes, then the kidneys suffer as a result and it is harder for the kidneys to do their work of filtering.

Here are three main things you can do TODAY to help your heart and your kidneys be healthier:

NO SMOKING

Smoking is not just bad for the lungs! Nicotine – even in the e-cigarettes – binds vitamin C, which makes it almost impossible for smokers to make enough collagen that keeps skin and blood vessels soft and elastic. This is why smokers wrinkle faster and heal slower! And when blood vessels aren’t elastic, they are prone to damage – think of a brittle straw… what happens when you bend it? – it cracks, right? – that same process is happening in the blood vessels: little nicks and tears call for more cholesterol to try to ‘shore up’ the damage….like bandaids on the inside of a straw would certainly narrow the diameter – so too does cholesterol trying to patch up the inside of your blood vessels. Thus, restricting blood flow – not just to the heart, but EVERYWHERE – including kidneys.

EXERCISE

I’m the first one to tell you that anyone who says they like to exercise must be lying! But, it is so vital to your health and well-being … and to your circulation! Our bodies are designed to MOVE! Exercise helps circulation which means more flow to the heart and kidneys. It helps flush toxins and cholesterols. If you’re not moving – START!

CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR

if you have diabetes, be sure to keep blood sugars in healthy range. always check with your doctor, but a good range is between 90-150 for a diabetic, and 70-110 for a non-diabetic. If you’ve been told you have “borderline” diabetes, you need to make some lifestyle changes. You are now in the danger zone!

When sugars are high, it requires more blood pressure to move the blood along. Think of making homemade syrup. You dissolve sugar til it won’t dissolve anymore, right? It gets thicker. It’s a lot harder on the heart to circulate the higher viscosity, which impedes blood flow. Your blood pressure rises, and your skin and hair changes because cells can’t get the nutrients they need. Moderately high blood sugars over time do a lot of damage. Remember that your blood sugars are supported by three main factors: Diet, Medication and Exercise.


Kimberlee Langford, RN BSN CCM CPC Nurse Coach, Complex Case Manager Kimberlee Langford is a Complex Case Manager and nurse coach at Renalogic, with over 18 years’ experience in the Nursing profession, and professional coaching. Kimberlee helped to launch the nurse coach program of Renalogic in 2013, and continues to work with our nursing team to engage and empower members in our ongoing efforts to prevent the development and progression of CKD in populations of at-risk members, delay dialysis for those with late-stage CKD and ESRD, and save costs for members and clients alike.

There are two times a year where I really feel the urge to make a fresh start; to try anew to improve myself. During Fall, you have the back-to-school season, and then, of course, there's the New Year. I love the feel of planning my new datebook, updating my dream board, and reflecting over my progress through the years.

But, we can recreate ourselves any time or day. Each new day is an opportunity for a fresh start, and I truly believe we can become anything we want. The key is to find someone who is already doing what we want to do, or who already has what we want. Then copy what they did to get there. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery for a reason!

Think what, not how

Sometimes the hardest part is to figure out what we really want. And, I mean what we REALLY want. If you don’t know where you are going … you’re sure to get there. When we tap into knowing what we want, it’s important to remember that the “how” isn’t really important in this stage of goal-setting. We just want to know the what. When you know "what" you want, then the "how" becomes clearer. Oftentimes we limit ourselves. It is important to allow yourself permission to ponder and think about "what" you want. There are no limits.

It’s easy to say we want more money, or that we want to lose 20lbs. But, it’s usually much deeper than that. It’s not really the money we are after, but what the money can do for us. Maybe it affords for less stress, greater choices, access to better things like perhaps buying all organic food, or the freedom to take a vacation. Write that out! Losing weight can help you to have more energy, less knee and back pain, more energy to play with kids and grandkids. Write that out, too!

So take a minute. There are no limits here. Allow yourself to dream. Then, ask yourself why you want that and then dig deeper.


Kimberlee Langford, RN BSN CCM CPC Nurse Coach, Complex Case Manager Kimberlee Langford is a Complex Case Manager and nurse coach at Renalogic, with over 18 years’ experience in the Nursing profession, and professional coaching. Kimberlee helped to launch the nurse coach program of Renalogic in 2013, and continues to work with our nursing team to engage and empower members in our ongoing efforts to prevent the development and progression of CKD in populations of at-risk members, delay dialysis for those with late-stage CKD and ESRD, and save costs for members and clients alike.

Here we go! The countdown for 2017 is on! Once the ball drops, you might say, it's time to get back on track and focus on that diet you set aside in November, or get back to reinventing yourself. But, don't go crazy up until that moment. Here are ten tips from our Nurse Coach, Kimberlee Langford, to help get you through the next ten days.

Feeling the bloated after Thanksgiving? Follow these tips

Phew! We've survived Thanksgiving, but are headed into another month of sweet treats and tasty delights, celebrations and stress, which is hard for anyone to manage. But, for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and chronic kidney disease (CKD), it's that much harder to control! Here are some tips to help get you back on track.

Join us at the 36th SIIA National Educational Conference in Austin, TX.

Renalogic is excited to be heading to the Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) National Conference and Expo in Austin, Texas! Four of our team members will be there to help you find a cost effective solution to managing kidney disease, and understand why that has never been so critical.

SIIA estimates that 1,700 people from coast-to-coast will be attending the world’s largest self-insurance event!

If you would like to talk about how you can get a free renal risk analysis stop by Booth 214. We will also have a reserved meeting room available on Monday, Sept. 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Look forward to seeing you there!