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Improving Quality of Life Through Specialized Kidney Care Strategies

Jul 26, 2022
 

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects 1 in 7 U.S. adults – an estimated 37 Million Americans (Source: NIDDK). While another 1 in 3 U.S. adults (approx. 80 Million) face late-stage kidney disease or, in some cases, kidney failure (also known as end-stage renal disease or ESRD).

The treatment of CKD and ESRD has high societal costs in treatments and common chronic diseases associated with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (to name a few).

Because of these additional conditions increasing expenses or the high average costs of traditional kidney care treatment, Panoramic Health developed value-based kidney care strategies to help improve patient outcomes and slow disease progression.

Strategy #1: Reducing Risk Factors In Kidney Disease And Early Detection

According to the CDC, more the 1 in 7 or 15% or approximately 37 million people in the United States are estimated to have chronic kidney disease. The impact of kidney failure on not only the patient but the families of the patient is significant and life-changing. Due to CKD patients needing multiple dialysis sessions, lifestyle changes, and added medical expenses, physical, financial, and emotional distress may be experienced.

This is why we study kidney health from a lifetime perspective to discover precautionary methods for preserving kidneys and maintaining overall health. Because the harsh facts are that 33% of U.S. adults are at risk for kidney failure, so how do we overcome our odds?

Researchers found that some efforts help subside chronic illnesses or deaths and yield cost savings. When limited properly, lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors may reduce the chances of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) and CKD progression.

Primary Risk Factors In Kidney Disease

 

Tobacco smoking

Smokers and people who breathe in secondhand smoke increase their risk of developing conditions that lead to CKD or worsen their existing state. Patients’ veins and arteries become impacted by cardiovascular disease and may directly harm the patient’s kidneys, which affects their ability to filter blood. A nationwide population study took place in Korea and investigated whether or not smoking links to ESRD. An astonishing 23,232,091 participants underwent one health examination each year from 2009 to 2012. 24.6% of participants were current smokers, while 13.5% were ex-smokers and 61.9% were non-smokers. As a result, 45,143 ESRD cases developed afterward. The risk of ESRD was related to the smoking duration, the daily number of cigarettes, and packs. Furthermore, this study is one of many linking smoking tobacco to a greater risk of ESRD.

Lack of exercise

Exercise improves blood pressure, diabetes, and overall physical functioning and decreases the chances of CKD, degenerative joint disease, loss of neuromuscular strength, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, and other illnesses. Among other conditions, physical inactivity results in many CKD patients with a reduced quality of life and even an early death.

Unhealthy diet

Indulging in an unhealthy diet such as a high intake of salt, fats, trans fats, red meat, or alcohol may lead to chronic diseases. For instance, 90% of Americans 2 years old or older consume too much sodium. In fact, 70% of sodium consumed is from processed and restaurant foods, while only a small portion of sodium or salt is in cooking or added from the table (source: CDC).

Restricting salt intake prevents CKD progression by enhancing the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blockade (the RAAS blockade works to lower blood pressure). Reducing the amount of red meat may help reduce the harm caused to the kidneys, as certain types of red meat are known for being high in saturated fats.

Processed food such as potato chips, crackers, and some brands of salted nuts, are high in both salt (sodium) and trans fats. Highly processed foods such as deli meat, processed cheeses, or cheese spreads contain high amounts of salt and saturated and trans fats. Sweetened drinks such as soft drinks, sweet teas, concentrate juices, and hot beverages with added syrups all contain high amounts of calories, sugar and very little nutritional content. Restricting these foods may reduce the chances of CKD and elevate physical health.

Obesity

Patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are twice as likely to develop kidney disease (source: National Kidney Foundation) because patients who are obese have higher chances of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. The additional weight forces the kidney to work harder and faster and filter more blood. Over time, this weakens the kidney’s agility and increases the probability of kidney disease.

Specific environmental risks

National Library of Medicine (NIH) released an article in 2021 about the environmental pollution found in heavy metals, industrial or agricultural chemicals, elevated temperatures, contaminants in food or drinking water, or other ingested substances like medicine that have spread infectious diseases and may lead to CKD. While it’s true that there are many environmental risks that we cannot control on an individual level, if we shed light on this topic, there’s the probability of future investigations and pollution control to better our well-being.

Early Detection

 

Kidney Disease Early Detection

Other than reducing risk factors, early detection is a suitable and affordable strategy for kidney care. Scheduling regular check-ins with your doctors is essential to cusping potential diseases. But additionally, patients should schedule appointments if they suffer from the following symptoms of early-stage kidney disease:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Changes in urination
  • Chest pain (fluid build up around heart lining)
  • Shortness of breath (fluid build up around the lungs)
  • Feet or ankle swelling
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Persistent itching
  • Metallic taste

Strategy #2: Cost-Effective Treatment Options

Patient treatment options vary with individual needs and can often exceed the budget; fortunately, there are alternative treatment options that are more cost-effective. The physician or nephrologists will recommend or discuss treatment plans available to the patient that meets their needs clinically and financially.

Current treatment options available to patients:

 

In-hospital dialysis

Patients needing dialysis will either receive treatment in hospitals, clinics, or physicians’ rooms, with a single session taking between 3-5 hours long. Multiple sessions of dialysis may be needed in a week to ensure that all toxins are removed from the patients’ blood.

At-home dialysis

At-home dialysis could be a popular choice (need dependant) for patients, as nearly 786,000 people in the United States live with ESKD (end-stage kidney disease), and 71% are on dialysis and 29% with a kidney transplant (Source: NIDDK). Panoramic Health has proudly supplied 30% of at-home dialysis starts, reducing the time patients need to perform peritoneal dialysis.

Kidney transplantation (also referred to as a renal replacement therapy or RRT)

When discussing ESRD, the option of a kidney transplant will be raised. Before undergoing a kidney transplant, the patient must take precautionary tests such as a mental evaluation, blood, and diagnostic tests. Then, healthy kidneys may come from two types of transplant donors: living and deceased. Family members may donate their healthy kidneys if they are a match. At the same time, deceased donors are also vital candidates for transplantation if their kidneys still function. When the patient undergoes their transplantation surgery, they’ll usually receive one kidney, but there can be up to two kidney transplantation operations in severe cases.

Panoramic Health Improves Quality of Life for Patients

 

Panoramic Health has developed and delivers value-based care through specialized kidney care strategies, data analytics, and an understanding that patient quality of life is paramount. Led by physicians, Panoramic health improves patient outcomes through a network of 800+ healthcare providers across 19 states, providing treatment options such as at-home dialysis to meet the individual needs of patients.

Providing specialized kidney care through integrated value-based care, Panoramic Health slows disease progression, improving the patients’ outcome and overall quality of life.

Ultimately, Panoramic Health delivers better outcomes and lower costs so patients can live healthier, longer lives. Want to learn more? Please get in touch.