We all think about being heart smart and eating a healthy diet, but we rarely think about the health of our kidneys.
Dr. Neha Nainani, a board-certified nephrologist at Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) in Antioch, has some advice on how to keep your kidneys healthy.
“Awareness is needed for kidney disease, because by the time you feel like you are having a kidney problem, the disease has probably already progressed to an advanced stage that may require dialysis or a transplant,” said Nainani. “Kidneys are the filters of the body. They keep the good stuff in and get the bad stuff out.”
While kidney function declines with age, staying on top of health conditions that adversely impact the kidneys, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, is essential to keeping kidneys healthy. Annual check-ups with blood screenings also help monitor health conditions that can impair the kidneys.
Nainani, who is new to SEBMF, is a welcome addition to East County, and with such a high demand for nephrologists, having Nainani on site, full-time offers more options for patients. Her practice is comprehensive, offering in-patient and out-patient care for all stages of kidney disease, from treating kidney stones and hard-to-control blood pressure to end-stage renal disease.
Nainani practiced at the Merced-Turlock Nephrology Group prior to joining SEBMF, but after coming to Brentwood, she decided to move her practice closer to home.
“It feels nice to serve the people in the community where you live,” said Nainani.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 3 American adults is currently at risk for developing kidney disease, and 26 million adults, or 1 in 9, are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, though most remain undiagnosed. More than 600,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure or end-stage renal disease and require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
Before Brentwood resident Steve Bodon was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, he never gave his kidneys much thought. When he started showing symptoms of kidney disease, including muscle cramps and flu-like symptoms, he thought he had a virus. After a week of symptoms progressing, Bodon went to the emergency room and received the diagnosis of end-stage renal disease. He was only 39.
“I never thought I’d be facing kidney failure,” said Bodon. “It wasn’t even in my realm of thinking.”
Currently receiving dialysis treatments three days a week, Bodon is undergoing tests to become an active member of the United Network for Organ Sharing for a kidney transplant. While he hopes for a kidney transplant in the near future, the average wait for a kidney transplant is three to five years.
Since kidney disease can remain symptom-free until it has progressed to advanced stages, it is imperative to get blood screenings and to diagnose and treat health conditions that damage the kidneys.
“To maintain healthy kidneys as we age, we are moving towards prevention of health issues that cause them damage,” said Nainani.
Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation is located at 4053 Lone Tree Way, Suite 200, in Brentwood. To make an appointment, call 925-776-7725. For more information, visit www.sutterhealth.org/dr-neha-nainani.html.