While February is usually associated with hearts for Valentine’s Day, it is also American Heart Month, where Americans are encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyle choices in order to prevent heart disease. The heart and the kidneys work closely together, so when one isn’t healthy, it can have an impact on the other. If you have kidney disease, you also are more likely to have heart disease. So, what are some ways you can help your heart thrive as a kidney patient? Eat a heart-healthy diet (think fruits and vegetables, high quality proteins, and avoiding foods that contain high levels of sodium, [...]
As many people know, February is Black History Month, and it is important that we take the time to reflect upon, commemorate, and celebrate all the incredible achievements made by African Americans and the impact they have had on the history of the United States. What many do not know though, is the disparity with which kidney disease and illness affects the black community. African Americans comprise approximately 13% of the United States’ population; however, they make up more than 35% of all patients on dialysis due to kidney failure. Additionally, about 4.9 million African Americans over the age of 20 [...]
Habitat for Humanity has a program called Housing Plus/Aging in Place to help older Americans improve their home living conditions and quality of life. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Habitat assesses and addresses the unique living needs of each person, which may include home repairs, installations of ramps and grab bars, and more. In addition, Habitat connects recipients with other services they need that may address health, isolation, hunger and transportation. Lookup your local Habitat for Humanity to ask about aging in place program availability in your community. Read the full article.
“A Mindful Heart”: Stress Management Tools for Patients Living with Heart Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease
By Stacy Ogbeide, PsyD, ABPP, CSOWM DPC Education Center Advisory Council Member Stress Management—a topic those living with heart disease and chronic kidney disease have heard before but now in 2020, takes a whole new meaning. We are in the COVID-19 pandemic—unprecedented times—that are impacting people physically, financially, socially, spiritually, and emotionally. Maybe your healthcare has been disrupted; treatment disrupted; work, social, and family life disrupted. Your current stress management options are no longer working, or you don’t have access to your typical stress management options, which is beginning to take a toll on you. Don’t lose heart—I’d like to [...]
By Elizabeth Steinberg Christofferson, PhD and Leah Grande, MA Preparing for and receiving a kidney transplant, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be an uncertain and overwhelming process. This article discusses tips to promote positive mental and physical health for yourself or your loved ones. Preparing for a Transplant There are many different emotions associated with deciding to go on the transplant list, and all of these feelings are normal and valid! You may feel excited about the potential for improved health and energy, fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink (although you still want to eat a [...]
By Alan S. Kliger, MD The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life for virtually everyone on the planet. For most of this year, we have all gone through many troubling emotions: fear, disbelief, anxiety, anger, mistrust, cynicism. We also have learned so much, and have looked to the future for trust, hope, anticipation, and most of all the ability to get on with life beyond face masks, social distancing, closed schools and closed businesses, and to a time we don’t have to worry every time someone walks toward us: might they be the one who infects me. In the midst of such [...]
During this webinar, Dr. Christofferson will offer advice on how to deal with feelings of fear, isolation, anxiety and stress during the coronavirus outbreak.
As officials across the country make decisions on how to safely reopen cities amid a global pandemic, people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) must remain vigilant about taking precautions to lower their risk for COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increased significantly among ESRD patients from May 16 to June 20, as reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The number of kidney disease patients who were diagnosed reached 3,818 per 100,000 people, while hospitalizations were reported at 1,911 per 100,000 people. These rates are more than double that of the general population during that same time frame, demonstrating [...]
By Rachel Fintzy Woods, MA, MFT So many aspects of life are beyond our control. When the challenges of managing an illness such as chronic kidney disease are added to our plate, we can feel overwhelmed. Emotions such as anger, confusion, fear and sadness are common and natural, especially at the outset of our journey with illness. It can seem as if our world has been turned upside down. Yet we do have some say in how we deal with the cards we’ve been dealt, including our medical condition and life itself. We alone are responsible for our actions and our [...]
By Sara Naveed Raise your hand if getting out of bed feels like an accomplishment to you, if you have ever felt the need to nap after taking a shower or if being tired feels like it's a part of your personality now! How about constantly finding yourself in a push/crash cycle—pushing way past your limit one day and then paying the price for it in the form of heightened symptoms and having to rest several days in order to recover? Don't worry—you're not the only one! We currently live in an era where we are constantly fed the narrative that [...]