COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — For Columbus resident Anna House, living healthy is her main priority.
“I have high blood pressure and my family has a history of diabetes, heart, kidney disease and high cholesterol,” House said.
Which is why she signed up for a free kidney screening.
” I’ve had a lot of family members pass away at an early age and I want to live a little bit longer than they have,” House said.
Tameara Hargrove also didn’t hesitate.
“I saw the flyer at my home church and I was like, well it’s free so why not take it, it’s concerning my health,” Hargrove said.
Baptist Memorial, along with the Mississippi Kidney Foundation tested blood and urine samples, helping inform people about their health and if they’re at risk for kidney disease.
” Kidney disease is a kind of silent disease, often times people aren’t symptomatic until very advanced stages of the disease process. So we can pick up changes in blood pressure, changes in urine, changes in blood, screening test or changes in blood levels that will help us identify those patients who are at highest risk,” said Nephrologist Dr. Jason Dunn
And so many people are, my father is one of them. Living with End Stage Renal Failure, he was only 37 when he lost his kidneys, which is why I got tested myself.
“Kidney failure is an epidemic in our country, especially in the southeastern part of the United States. We have a large majority of the population who have uncontrollable diabetes and high blood pressure. If those patients progress to end stage renal disease and require dialysis, it’s a very, very difficult treatment. Oftentimes requires a huge lifestyle change. Coming to a dialysis center 3 times per week. It’s certainly a very difficult process,” Dunn said.
It only takes a few minutes for the results to come back. Thankfully Anna, Tameara, and I went home symptom free. Doctors hope people take advantage of these opportunities. With early detection and treatment, you can delay or even prevent the progression of kidney disease.
” Come and get tested, because you’re not having to pay anything and it’s for you,” Hargrove said.
” Just take that extra time. I mean all it is, it’s going to take 15 minutes, 30 minutes of your time to come out,” House said.
Mississippi has one of the highest rates of kidney disease in the nation. Don’t wait for the symptoms, if you have a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease, get tested.