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In Memoriam Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr. Wilhelmina J. Rolark THE WASHINGTON INFORMER NEWSPAPER (ISSN#0741-9414) is published weekly on each Thursday. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, D.C. and additional mailing offices. News and advertising deadline is Monday prior to publication. Announcements must be received two weeks prior to event. Copyright 2013 by The Washington Informer. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send change of addresses to The Washington Informer, 3117 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., S.E. Washington, D.C. 20032. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The Informer Newspaper cannot guarantee the return of photographs. Subscription rates are $45 per year, two years $60. Papers will be received not more than a week after publication. Make checks payable to:

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STAFF Denise W. Barnes, Editor Shantella Y. Sherman, Assistant Editor Ron Burke, Advertising/ Marketing Director Lafayette Barnes, IV, Assistant Photo Editor Khalid Naji-Allah, Staff Photographer John E. De Freitas, Sports Photo Editor Dorothy Rowley, Online Editor Brian Young, Design & Layout Mable Neville, Bookkeeper Mickey Thompson, Social Sightings columnist Stacey Palmer, Social Media Specialist Angie Johnson, Circulation

Stacy Brown, Sam P.K. Collins, Michelle Phipps-Evans, Eve Ferguson, Gale Horton Gay, Elton J. Hayes, Njunga Kabugi, Stacey Palmer, Dorothy Rowley, Barrington Salmon, Margaret Summers, Charles E. Sutton, James Wright

PHOTOGRAPHERS John E. De Freitas, Roy Lewis, Khalid Naji-Allah, Shevry Lassiter



This season’s health supplement examines kidney function and the preventative measures necessary to ward off impairment. Coinciding with this year’s World Kidney Day (March 13), the Informer strives with this edition to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health. Like James Weldon Johnson’s song “Dem Bones” that chorused a sing-a-long, “the knee bone connected to the thigh bone… the thigh bone connected to the hip bone… (and so on)” most Americans rarely take to heart the connectivity of their internal organs and the misfire of one that potentially causes irreparable damage or failure to others. For instance, as fast-paced living gives way to pre-packaged meals – loaded with salt, sugar and fillers to help preserve them and replicate fresh tastes – Americans are consuming large quantities of ingredients that complicate kidney function. The result is usually the development first, of hypertension (salt) and diabetes (sugar) and then, damage to the kidneys through an inability to process and filter the waste from these additives from the blood. Here is the breakdown simplified: When our bodies digest the protein we eat, the process creates waste. In the kidneys, millions of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) with even tinier holes in them act as filters. As blood flows through the blood vessels, small molecules such as waste products squeeze through the holes. These waste products become part of our urine. Useful substances, such as protein and red blood cells, are too big to pass through the holes in the filter and stay in the blood. Diabetes can damage this system, with high levels of blood sugar causing the kidneys to filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters. In time, the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to lose their filtering ability. Waste products start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail. Having small amounts of protein in the urine requires treatment and keeps the condition from worsening; larger amounts of protein in the urine, however, signal chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and require a machine (dialysis) to filter the blood or a kidney transplant. Of particular concern among African Americans, kidney disease rates increase along with incidents of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes among teens and young adults. This suggests that poor eating habits are starting earlier (in the tween and teen years) and reaching critical stages among adolescents and young adults (under 30). African Americans are also less likely to donate kidneys or other organs, making the wait for those suffering from kidney disease that much greater. African Americans comprise 13 percent of the population and 34 percent of those waiting for kidney transplants. Like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and a host of other chronic conditions kidney disease remains an illness largely precipitated by poor eating habits – especially neglecting to take in vital amounts of old fashioned water. World Kidney Day, celebrated each year on the second Thursday in March, will have passed by the time you enjoy this supplement; however, now is the time to assess your kidneys and began to filter a bit of self-love through them. In this health edition, the Informer provides a wealth of information about kidney disease prevention, including healthy eating tips, and resources to kidney testing and management of kidney disease. Read & Enjoy, Shantella Y. Sherman Editor, Special Sections


Turn Your Pantry Kidney Friendly with 8 Simple Tips Donald Jones Special to the Informer from the National Kidney Foundation As the old adage goes, “you are what you eat.” In honor of National Kidney Month this March, protect your kidneys by cleaning up your diet, starting in your kitchen. Take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator, jump start your spring cleaning and make the following simple swaps to keep your kidneys healthy with the National Kidney Foundation’s 8 tips to make over your pantry. Commit to whole grains. Whole grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta are available in most grocery stores and are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber can reduce cholesterol and may also lower your risk for heart disease. Whole grains may make you feel full with fewer calories which can help with weight control. Look for the word “whole” on the food label. Clean out the refined grain products like granola bars, muffins, cakes and pies. Instead reach for whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, steel cut oats and bran flake cereal. For cans, no salt is king. If you buy canned foods, make sure you read the labels for the “no salt added” varieties

of vegetables, beans and soup. Eating less salt can help prevent or control high blood pressure. Buy fresh. Whenever possible, buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned. Processed foods contain higher levels of sodium and phosphorus which when consumed in excess can be bad for your kidneys. If you buy canned fruit, look for the ones packed in their own juices instead of in heavy syrup. Heavy syrup can raise your blood sugar levels. Look at labels and try to avoid foods that contain “phos” as an ingredient. Sub (stitute) the tub. Replace butter and margarine with olive or canola oil. These liquid plant oils are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats which may lower cholesterol and also possibly benefit blood sugar levels. Spice things up! Stock up on spices and herbs and use these in place of salt and fat to add flavor to your foods. Go lean. Replace red meats with leaner, lower fat protein choices such as fish, poultry, egg whites and legumes. Get rid of processed meats like ham, hotdogs, sausage and bacon. Ditch the processed sweets. Eliminate the processed sweets and high calorie desserts in your pantry and opt for fruit as a snack or dessert instead. Fruit salad is a great way to consume a variety of nutrients. Another

healthy snack or treat idea is to make a fruit parfait with low fat yogurt. Slash the dairy fat. Certain varieties of milk, cheeses and

yogurts can be high in fat so swap out full fat dairy products for fat free or lower fat varieties. Dairy products provide many important nutrients

in your diet but can be high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Swapping to lower fat versions can help keep your cholesterol levels healthy. HS

Can You Improve, or Even Reverse, Your Diabetes? Join Neal Barnard, M.D. for a free five-class series Starting Dates:

March 25, May 13, June 17

All lectures begin at 6 p.m. Each class includes a cooking demonstration, delicious samples, recipes, and a nutrition lecture. To reserve your spot, call 202-527-7314 or e-mail

PhysiciansC Committ t ee for Responsible Medicine •


find outdoors Doctors Prescribe Patients beneficial in treatment a Walk in the Park of ailments

By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer

The next time a patient visits a doctor at Unity Health Care, they might be surprised at what doctors are prescribing. Increasingly, doctors at Unity, which has several locations around the District, are taking out their prescription pad and writing: “Take two nature walks and call me tomorrow.” “In many cities across the country, doctors are prescribing outside time in one of our country’s most treasured resources, parks,” said Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity’s Upper Cardozo location in Northwest. “Here in D.C., we’ve rated our region’s parks and launched a tool that any doctor can use in their office to locate quality and safe outside space near the patient’s home,” said Zarr, president of the D.C. chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. On July 1, 2013, Zarr helped to launch, D.C. Park Rx, a

community health initiative of health providers and several organizations, including the National Park Service and the D.C. Department of Health. The program’s concept links the healthcare system and local parks, to create healthier people. Immediate goals include prescribing nature to patients and families to encourage outside time in one of the 350 green spaces and parks around the District. Patients with such illnesses and ailments as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, sleep apnea or even low self-esteem are being prescribed a walk in the park. “The long-term goal is to decrease the impact of non-communicable chronic disease like obesity, asthma, and mental health disorders and create the next generation of environmental stewards,” Zarr said. Already, an estimated 500 patients have received the prescription to walk in the park and the feedback has only been positive, he said.

“My son is 11, and I look at his weight and see danger if nothing productive is done,” said Tanisha, a Southeast resident who declined to provide her last name to prevent her son from potential bullying. Tanisha, 31, said diabetes runs in her family and if her young child isn’t active, he’s sure to experience challenges. “This helps to get him away from the computer and the video games,” she said. “It also helps me because I go out with him and walk in the park and exercise, too.” Zarr said plenty of research goes into the park program and there are various factors when prescribing the treatment to patients. “It’s much like prescribing medication. I have to make the right diagnosis and then I have to consider all the possible treatment options, taking into account risk benefit, cost, complexity of treatment, social context of the patient, and the environmental impact,” Zarr said.

“Before I prescribe a park, I need to know if what I am prescribing is safe, clean, accessible, and has lots of different activity options that best match the interest of the patient, family and their schedule,” he said, noting that with the help of program partners and volunteers, all of the green space in D.C. has carefully been mapped out and rated in several categories including cleanliness. More than 601,000 people live in the District and chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are among the top causes of death locally. About 56 percent of District residents reported that they were overweight and 22.2 percent counted as obese. A recent survey conducted by the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program in Northwest, found that the outdoors were important for the physical well-being of residents. Particularly, the study noted that outdoor activity could help curb some chronic diseases. The report showed that parks, trails, and open space continue to be a real asset to all residents and they provide formal and informal gathering places for individuals to be physically active, socialize, relax, and build community. “The District is graced with more green space per person than any other U.S. city of the


same size,” said Richard Levinson, deputy director of Policy and Programs at the District of Columbia Department of Health in Northwest. “These spaces have the ability to not only improve people’s health, but the health of a community,” Levinson said. Also, the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services’ Department of Exercise Science plans to host author Richard Louv at its Foggy Bottom campus on Thursday, March 20, to discuss the importance of outdoor activity. Louv, whose written eight books about the connections between family, nature and community, plans to discuss the role of health care providers in prescribing nature to prevent and treat chronic disease at the free admission event which begins at 6:30 p.m. “The overlaying theme of what the prescription program is is that we’ve got a unique population that is suffering from a lot of issues with chronic disease, both children and adults,” he said. “We have a lot of reasons to do this, and on top of that, we have a massive amount of green space in the District, which from what we understand, is underutilized.”HS

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Your oral (mouth) health affects not only your overall health, but the health of your baby, too. Certain problems, like gum disease, can cause your baby to be born too early or too small.

Caring For Your Teeth and Gums Can Give You More than a Pretty Smile Submitted by AmeriHealth District of Columbia You can keep your mouth healthy by reducing plaque (plak). This sticky mixture of food, saliva and bacteria coats your teeth. Plaque causes cavities, gum disease and bad breath. 7 ways to attack plaque: 1. Visit your dentist every 6 months. 2. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste every day in the morning and before bed. Brush your tongue, too. 3. Floss every day. Call your dentist if brushing or flossing hurts or makes your gums bleed. 4. If you smoke, get help to quit. 5. Don’t eat sticky foods,

like dried fruit and candy. 6. Try to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after you eat or have a sweet or sugary drink. 7. Get a new toothbrush every 3 or 4 months or sooner if the bristles are worn out. These 7 steps can help you avoid gum disease. Gum disease causes swelling and pain in your mouth. This can lead to problems with your heart and blood vessels. That increases your risk for: • Heart disease. • Pneumonia (new-moanyuh). • Problems with chronic obstructive pulmonary (pull-ma-ner-ee) disease (COPD). • Problems during pregnancy.

Did You Know? When you have Medicaid, you have dental coverage, too! Call your health plan to find out how to see a dentist. AmeriHealth District of Columbia members can call Member Services at 1-202-408-7511 or 1- 800-4087511 to find a dentist or get help making an appointment. Moms-To-Be Need Special Dental Care Submitted by AmeriHealth District of Columbia Your oral (mouth) health affects not only your overall health, but the health of your baby, too. Certain problems, like gum disease, can cause your baby to be born too early or too small. Here is what you need to know: Q. When should I go to the dentist if I am pregnant? A. Right away if it has been more than 6 months since

your last check-up. Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant. Q. Why do pregnant women often have gum problems? A. Changes in hormones create a gum problem called pregnancy gingivitis in up to ½ of pregnant women. Gingivitis can cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tender gums. It can also change into periodontal disease, a serious gum infection. Q. How does periodontal disease affect pregnancy? A. It has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth. Bacteria from the infection can enter the bloodstream and travel to the uterus. It also produces a substance in your body that may cause early labor. Q. How can I avoid gum problems?


A. You should: • Keep your teeth clean. • Brush with a soft brush and toothpaste at least 2 times a day, after each meal if possible. • Floss between your teeth 1 or 2 times daily. AmeriHealth District of Columbia’s Bright Start® program helps moms-tobe make healthy choices for themselves and their unborn babies. You can call 1-877-7596883 to reach the Bright Start program. If you need help finding a dentist, call Member Services at 1-202-408-4720 or 1-800-408-7511 (TTY/TDD: 1-202-216-9885 or 1-800-5701190). You can also visit www. and click on “Find a Doctor.” HS

Brush your child’s teeth 2 times a day with a pea-sized drop of fluoride toothpaste. Remember, most children need help brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old.

Help Your Child Have Healthy Teeth Submitted by AmeriHealth District of Columbia Healthy teeth help your child eat right, talk properly and feel good about his or her smile. Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth. Keeping baby teeth healthy can also save your child from the pain of a cavity and other dental problems. Most children begin teething between 4 months and 7 months of age. But you can protect your child’s oral health from birth. • Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, sweetened water or other sugary drinks. • Wipe your child’s gums with a damp washcloth or soft infant toothbrush after meals. • Report any spots and stains on the teeth to your child’s primary care provider (PCP) or dentist. Most of your child’s teeth will come in by age 2. Follow these

tips to keep the teeth healthy until they fall out naturally, which usually starts around age 6: • Make your child’s first dentist appointment when he or she is between ages 6 months and 1 year. Take your child back as often as the dentist recommends - normally 2 times a year. • Feed your child a healthy diet. Serve fruits and veggies instead of sugary cookies and candy. • Brush your child’s teeth 2 times a day with a pea-sized drop of fluoride toothpaste. Remember, most children need help brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old. • Ask your child’s dentist or PCP if he or she should have a cavityfighting gel brushed on their teeth. Dentists and most PCPs can

brush on a fluoride varnish to help keep teeth strong. Fluoride Varnish - Frequently Asked Questions What is fluoride varnish? Fluoride (‘flȯr∙īd) varnish (ˈvär ∙nish) is a sticky, paint-on gel that dentists and other health professionals use to protect teeth from cavities. It forms a sticky covering over the tooth and becomes hard as soon as saliva in the mouth touches it. It takes less than 5 minutes to cover all of the teeth. . How does fluoride varnish work? Fluoride varnish makes the tooth hard and resistant to tooth decay (cavities). It helps prevent new cavities and can slow down or stop cavities from getting worse. Where can I go to have the fluoride varnish applied? Your primary dental provider (PDP) can apply the fluoride

varnish. If your child is under 3 years old, his or her primary care provider (PCP) can apply the varnish if the PCP is trained through the District of Columbia’s HealthCheck program. How do I know who my child’s primary dental provider (PDP) is? For questions about your dental benefits, please call DentaQuest at 1-800-685-0615 (toll free). You can also call AmeriHealth District of Columbia’s Member Services at 1-202-408-4720 or toll free at 1-800-408-7511. How do I know if my child’s PCP is certified to apply the fluoride varnish? The staff at the doctor’s office will know best. You can call the office and ask. Will fluoride varnish make the teeth look different? Most fluoride varnishes are white and can make your teeth look dull. This is normal and does not hurt the teeth. The

varnish will come off when the teeth are brushed, and the teeth will look like they did before the treatment. Do I need to do anything special after my child has fluoride varnish? Your child does not have to wait to eat and drink. Food should be soft and not crunchy for the rest of the day. The fluoride varnish on the teeth will come off after brushing. Is fluoride varnish safe? Fluoride varnish is safe. A small amount of varnish is painted onto teeth with a small brush. The varnish sets immediately on contact with saliva, so there is very little risk of extra gel being swallowed. Sources: The District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance, New York Department of HealthHS


Understanding the Relationship between Diabetes and Kidney Ailments According to the National Kidney Foundation, African-Americans make up 29 percent of all patients treated for kidney failure in the U.S., but only about 14 percent of the overall U.S. population. We also develop kidney failure at an earlier age. The mean age for African-Americans at the start of treatment for kidney failure is 56 years, compared with 66 in white Americans. In terms of renal failure, African-Americans suffer from end stage renal disease (ESRD) disproportionately — 998 per million Americans, compared to 271 in whites. Our two kidneys are incredibly important to our overall health. Their main job is to remove waste from our body through our urine, but they also help balance the body’s fluids, releases hormones to regulate our blood pressure, produce vitamin D and control the production of red blood cells. When someone has chronic kidney disease it means kidneys are damaged and cannot do their job properly. Over time, if the disease worsens, wastes can build up in your blood and make you sick. For some, dialysis — a procedure for people with ESRD — does the kidneys’ work for you and helps manage one’s condition. In other cases, a kidney transplant is best. So what increases your risk of developing kidney disease? The National Kidney Disease Education Program cites the following: Diabetes: 44 percent of people starting dialysis have kidney failure because of their diabetes. Both types

of diabetes — 1 and 2 — can damage your kidneys over the years. High blood pressure: This health ailment is the second leading cause of kidney disease. Like diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your kidneys. That’s why it’s important if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure to measure your blood pressure every day so you know what your levels are. Heart disease: There is a connection between kidney disease and cardiovascular (heart or blood vessel) disease. People with heart disease are at higher risk for kidney disease and people with kidney disease are at higher risk for heart disease. Family history of kidney failure: Your risk of developing this disease increases if you have family members who suffer from kidney issues. Given that we suffer from high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, it’s not surprising kidney disease is a serious issue in our community. Past research has found that genetics may also play a factor in why African-Americans disproportionately suffer from kidney disease. Experts stress that early diagnosis is key. Talk to your health care practitioner or doctor about whether or not you need to get tested. To learn more about kidney disease, treatment and prevention, go here. The shocking revelation on Wednesday that multi-talented entertainer Nick Cannon, 31, had suffered from mild kidney failure while vacationing with family in Aspen, Colo., brought new attention the risks associated with kidney disease.

The disease affects 26 million American adults, according to the National Kidney Foundation. More troubling, African-Americans are at greater risk for kidney failure and, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, younger Blacks are more likely to die while receiving dialysis as treatment than white patients. Researchers uncovered in August that African-Americans under the age of 50 who receive dialysis — a blood-filtering process commonly used to treat the disease — have almost double the rate of death risks of white patients. Dialysis is implemented when a patient has lost about 85 to 90 percent of their kidney function. According to the study, published

in the Journal of the American Medical Association, for Blacks aged 18 to 30, the risk of death was about double — about 28 percent when compared to 14 percent for whites. In the 31-to40 age group, Blacks were 1.5 times more likely to die. Between the ages of 41 and 50, the increased risk of death narrowed to about 45 percent vs. 38 percent. Researchers linked the disparities to “an interaction between the biology of the disease in younger Blacks” and “racial disparities in income and access to health care,” lead researcher Dr. Dorry L. Segev told U.S. News and World Report in August. Segev is an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There is plenty of evidence to


show that Blacks have less access to health care than whites,” Segev said. “If you have a disease that can tolerate that, then you will be okay. But if you have a disease that becomes out of control without health care, then you’re not going to be okay.” Access to kidney transplants may also be a contributing factor, Segev told the publication, referring to the study findings. “If you were 18 to 30 and white, you had a 55 percent chance of getting a transplant. If you were Black, only 32 percent got transplants,” he said. For more information about kidney disease, symptoms and treatment options, visit HS

BOOKS The ABC of Kidney Disease By David Goldsmtih The ABC of Kidney Disease is a brand new title in the successful ABC series which explains this complicated area thoroughly and clearly, in a practical and user-friendly manner. Providing information on a wide variety of renal diseases, this book ensures non-renal healthcare workers are able to screen, identify, treat and refer renal patients appropriately. Covering signs, symptoms, treatments and causes of renal disease, this title includes the common issues presenting to GPs, what tests to use, how to interpret results and when to refer a patient to a kidney specialist. The ABC of Kidney Disease is an ideal practical reference for GPs, GP registrars and junior doctors. Kidney Sundays: A Toolkit (A Guide for Faith-Based Communities on Making the



Kidney Connection) [NOOK Book] By The National Kidney Disease Education Program Increasingly, people are turning to places of worship to get accurate, useful information about issues that uniquely affect African Americans. Kidney health is one of those issues because kidney failure affects African Americans more than other groups. In fact, African Americans make up about 12 percent of the population but account for 28 percent of new cases of kidney failure. In addition, almost 80 percent of kidney failure cases among African Americans are caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. Kidney Sundays is a great opportunity to raise awareness within your faith community about the risks for kidney disease and the importance of getting tested. This booklet provides faith-based organizations with the tools and materi-


als they need to include kidney health messages in programs and events. The materials are easy to use in a wide variety of settings with your organization. In fact, they can be used by anyone who wants to have a conversation about kidney disease with their friends, family, co-workers, or community group outside of a faith-based setting. The Adventures of Kirbey the Kidney: Kirbey has an Ultrasound By Donna Hansell This series of educational children’s books are to provide knowledge to patients and their parents about kidney disease and the care needed to live healthy lives. Teen Health Book: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Health and Well Being By Ralph I. Lopez With the publication of The


or visit us at 4 Atlantic Street, SW Washington, DC 20032

Teen Health Book parents will finally have a single volume to help them navigate the confusing changes of the adolescent years. Ralph I. Lapez, a pioneer in the field of adolescent medicine, is known for his warm and accessible manner and offers health and medical information in a clear and conversational tone. Addressing both physical and emotional concerns, this essential guidebook discusses the full spectrum of adolescent issues from sexual development and eating disorders to acne, growth issues, and alcohol and drug use. In addition, a comprehensive reference section details the common and not-so-common ailments of teenagers. Dr. Spock is the bible for parents of toddlers; The Teen Health Book will be the bible for parents of teens. HS

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Improving Lives in our Community for over 30 years


Teenagers and Chronic Kidney Disease As a parent, you watch your teenager go through exciting and confusing times - from their involvement in school activities and getting their driver’s license, to choosing which college he or she wants to attend and dealing with loads of peer pressure. You never expect that kidney disease will happen to your child. So when your teenager learns he or she has chronic kidney disease (CKD), it can become an unexpected challenge in your family. First things first: how do kidneys work? Kidneys are responsible for removing waste and extra fluid from what you eat and drink from in the body. The nutrients you need remain in your body while the extra waste is filtered by the kidneys. Kidneys are made up of millions of tiny filters called nephrons which remove the unwanted fluids from the blood by creating urine. The urine travels down the ureters into the bladder and is stored until it is released through the urethra. How do teenagers get kidney disease? The two most frequent causes for adults to develop chronic kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes. In teens these causes are uncommon. However, due to unhealthy eating habits leading to excessive weight gain, more young people are prone to diseases such

as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can cause kidney disease later in life. For most teens, CKD is caused by congenital disorders or diseases that develop such as: Urinary problems, such as UTIs (urinary tract infection) and Reflux nephropathy. Urinary tract infection (UTI) The urinary tract consists of the urethra, the bladder, the ureters and the kidneys. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused when bacteria moves up into the bladder and multiplies. A bladder infection, or cystitis, is the most common UTI. Urinary tract infections are usually easy to diagnose in teens and adults. Symptoms include: frequent, painful urination, inability to urinate despite the urge, urine that appears cloudy or has an unusual smell, blood in the urine, fever and flank or lower back pain if the kidneys are infected. To diagnose a UTI, a urine sample is taken to check for the growth of bacteria. If the teenager is given antibiotics, relief usually begins within 12 to 24 hours of treatment. If the UTI affects the kidneys, intravenous medications may be necessary, requiring teens to be hospitalized. After treatment, the doctor will collect another urine sample to determine if the medicine has gotten rid of the infection. Since UTIs tend to come back again, the doctor may want your teen to be tested

on a regular basis. Advice to prevent the recurrence of UTIs include: After voiding, girls and women should wipe from front to back to prevent contaminating the urethra with bacteria from the anal area, Drinking plenty of water to flush the urinary tract, Not resisting the urge to urinate, Taking a shower instead of a bath Reflux nephropathy Reflux disorder is often diag-

nosed after a teenager has a UTI. It occurs when urine goes back up from the bladder to the kidney. This is due to a defect of the “valves” between the ureters and the bladder. Reflux can cause an infection to spread to the kidneys. This can be serious and may lead to kidney damage. About 30% of older children with UTIs will suffer from reflux disorder. Sometimes surgery is done to correct reflux disorder, but most teens are treated with antibiot-


ics. Teens diagnosed with reflux disorder usually recover after treatment. Typically, they do not have relapses. If kidney damage occurs, however, teens may get high blood pressure later in life. If one kidney is damaged, the risk of getting high blood pressure is 10%. If both kidneys have been injured, the risk rises to 20%. Most teenagers who experience reflux disorders do well and do not experience kidney damage.HS

Additional risk factors include kidney stones, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Kidney disease kills over 90,000 Americans every year -- more than breast and prostate cancer combined.



EvEryonE Has a DiffErEnt opinion about your HEaltH CarE.

Each kidney is about 5 inches (about 13 centimeters) long and about 3 inches (about 8 centimeters) wide — about the size of a computer mouse. First, blood is carried into the kidneys by the renal artery (anything in the body related to the kidneys is called “renal”). The average person has 1 to 1½ gallons of blood circulating through his or her body. The kidneys filter that blood as many as 400 times a day! More than 1 million tiny filters inside the kidneys remove the waste. Kidney receives 20-25% of all blood which is pumped by the heart. The body’s entire blood bring in circulates throughout the kidneys about 12 times per hour. Kidney filters about 2 gallons of blood in an hour. Kidney filters around two hundred quarts of blood each day. The majority regular causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. What a good number of people don’t understand is that having over-the-counter pain-relieving medicines, can also effect in kidney disorder. 1 in 9 American adults has kidney disease -and most don’t know it.

WE HavE tHE faCts. It’s hard to know where to turn when faced with confusing health care information. With our free treatment summaries, you can easily compare your options—online or on your mobile phone. So you’ll be prepared to discuss them with your health care provider. TexT Compare To 22764

Major risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older.

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If you have both Medicare & Medicaid, join the plan that treats you like a V.I.P. 1-877-684-3271 (TTY: 1-866-428-7583) 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Oct. 1-Feb. 14); Mon.- Fri., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Feb. 15-Sept. 30)

AmeriHealth VIP Care is a HMO-SNP plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the District of Columbia Medicaid program. Enrollment in AmeriHealth VIP Care depends on Medicare contract renewal. This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Y0093_PRA_963_Accepted_10232013


March 2014 health wellness and nutrition supplement