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Warning signs of kidney disease
A word about Lupis

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One out of every three people with kidney failure is African- American, compared to only one in eight in the general population. When a person's kidneys are working at only 5 to 10 percent of normal, he or she must have regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant in order to live. Kidneys perform many vital functions including filtering waste products from the blood, controlling fluid balance, regulating blood pressure and stimulating red blood cell production.

High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes of kidney failure. African-Americans, for reasons we don't entirely understand, are at high risk for both of these conditions. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, often doesn't have any obvious symptoms. That's why it's important to have regular medical check- ups and have your blood pressure checked often, even if you feel well.

Diabetes symptoms include thirst, passing more urine than usual, hunger, unintended weight loss and fatigue. However, diabetes also sometimes has no symptoms. This is another reason why checkups are important. Fortunately, you can help prevent both diabetes and hypertension and their complications if you eat a low-fat, low-salt diet, exercise regularly, limit alcohol intake and don't smoke. If you have either diabetes or high blood pressure, take your prescribed medication and monitor your condition often.



Swelling of parts of the body, especially around the eyes or ankles
Pain in the lower back
Burning or unusual sensation during urination
Bloody or coffee colored urine
Urinating more often, especially at night
Listless or tired feeling
High blood pressure
You can feel fine and still have kidney disease
African-Americans are 2.5 to 5.6 times more likely to suffer from kidney disease with more than 4,000 new cases annually of renal disease requiring either kidney transplant or regular dialysis.



Lupus is an autoimmune disorder -- a rheumatic disease that belongs to the arthritis family.
Lupus can strike different parts of the body. When it damages the kidneys, it is called lupus nephritis.
Lupus occurs much more often among African-Americans than whites. African-American women are three times more likely to be affected than white women.



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