Preventing kidney disease -

Preventing kidney disease

The Taylor family knows a lot about kidney disease, but it hasn't always been that way - not before Leila was diagnosed with the first of five stages of the life-threatening condition.  

"I wondered why and I also wondered why it hadn't been detected sooner," said Leila Taylor.

"It's kidney disease first. It becomes kidney failure when you're down to 20 percent," said Julie Gable with the Kidney Foundation.

That's when people end up in dialysis centers. Without machines to filter impurities from their blood or a transplant, they would die.

Eileen Taylor is painfully aware of the process. Her diabetic boyfriend died from kidney failure due to out-of-control diabetes.

"He was diagnosed with kidney disease early at 33 or 34 years old," said Taylor.

Like her parents, Eileen also battles high blood pressure - another risk factor for kidney disease. She's adamant about staying on top of it.

Her mother has the same attitude about her early stage disease, and has greatly reduced the amount of salt in her diet, because salt can cause high blood pressure.

Earl has diabetes, and to keep it under control and lower his risk for kidney failure, he's lost close to 15 pounds. "I'm never going to weigh 220 again," he asserted. "It's only going to kill me."

The Taylors also plan to have annual screenings and recommend others do the same. They'll Leila keep her disease in check and let Earl and Eileen know when or if they get it.

If your doctor doesn't ask to check your kidney function during a regular exam, simply ask.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.



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