Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

I am so excited.  You know how I’m always whining that Chronic Kidney Disease is a disease of numbers?  And how I’ve always considered numbers my nemesis?  Wait until you see what I found.  Follow this link, but be forewarned that, since it’s a PDF for a pamphlet, some of it is going to appear upside down:  http://www.healthinsight.org/Internal/assets/CKD/Patient%20Toolkit/Know%20your%20Numbers%20Wallet%20Card.pdf .

Once you’ve followed the link, you”ll see that  the danger (as in “talk to your doctor”) numbers are given for estimated Glomular Filtration Rate [eGFR], Urine Test for Protein (albumin), and the blood test for creatinine (SCr).  Just in case  you’ve forgotten the eGFR determines both the stage of kidney disease and how well the kidneys are functioning.  Albumin is water soluble protein in the blood (protein doesn’t belong in the blood) and the blood test for creatinine compares the creatinine in your urine with that in your blood to see how well your kidneys are functioning.

But wait!  That’s not all! (What is it?  2 a.m. on channel 3?  Do you feel like you need to get ready for a knife commercial?) You’re also given “Normal for Most” numbers for the following tests: blood pressure; glucose before eating; hemoglobin A1C: three kinds of cholesterol –  total, HDL, and LDL; triglycerides before eating and separate hematocrit(Hct) and Hemoglobing (Hgb) readings for men and women.  In addition, there are symbols used to let you know if the test is for the kidneys, diabetes, heart health or anemia.

If you’ve had ckd for a while, you know diabetes and kidneys can both cause or be caused by each other.  You also know that chronic kidney disease can affect your heart health and that anemia can be caused by ckd. The four are so intertwined, even if only potentially, in ckd that you need to watch your numbers in all four areas.

The website I found this wonderful number reminder on is http://www.healthinsight.org .  I also found something else that is really helpful there.  It’s called the blue man.  You click on one of the white areas of his body and you can see how CKD will affect that part of the body.  I clicked on the brain, ankle, bone, stomach, heart and kidney.  It was quite effective.  Go to the website, click on consumers, then choose chronic kidney disease from the dropdown menu and scroll down until you see the blue man.  You can’t miss him.

That’s quite a bit of homework for the start of a holiday weekend, so I think I’ll dismiss class early today and let you get started.

Enjoy the weekend, remember who we’re honoring and why, but most of all:

keep living your life.

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Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

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