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Obesity linked to kidney disease rates in South Texas

Posted at 5:41 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 18:48:37-04

People with kidney disease don't often know they have it, and usually the only red flag is an abnormality in bloodwork.

And here in the Coastal Bend, doctors are seeing an increase in cases.

"I'd say, every day, i see probably 20 percent of my patients with it every day," said primary care and Wellness physician Dr. Carlos Elizondo. "It's really high."

Many factors have a role in why adults are suffering from the disease, but the primary factor in South Texas is obesity.

"In this area obesity is so prevalent, and obesity causes high blood pressure, diabetes, and all these things lead to kidney disease," he said.

Dr. Elizondo said if a patient suffers those symptoms, they should be testing their bloodwork every three to six months.

That way, if they do suffer from kidney damage, they are able to prevent it from getting worse or being diagnosed with kidney failure. Those would require a transplant or dialysis treatment.

"It's a very, very hard lifestyle," said Dr. Elizondo. "The quality of life is super difficult, in the first year many patients are no longer with us just after starting dialysis."

Over 600,000 Americans have kidney failure, and of those over 400,000 are currently on dialysis.

Ultimately, the only way to prevent kidney disease is by living a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Elizondo says diet and exercise are vital to keeping kidneys healthy, but always speak to your own physician to figure out what's best for you.