Kidney disease: Are you at risk?

Kidney disease: Are you at risk?

(BPT) – Jordan Bupp is no stranger to a challenge. As a professional race car driver, Bupp constantly pushes the limits to go faster, be stronger and of course, win. This drive to persevere was vital to Bupp’s will to live in October 2013.

While visiting family, Bupp was rushed to the hospital because his kidneys were failing.

“My whole world shut down, they wanted to put a stint in my neck,” Bupp says. “If I had waited 24 hours, I would have been dead. Being 26 years old, this was just blowing my mind.”

Bupp had been feeling ill for six months prior to his hospitalization. His doctor talked to him about kidney disease because of his high blood pressure, but no one thought it was quite so imminent.

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S., but many are not aware of the disease because it is often symptomless until immediate medical attention is needed. A simple blood test can assess if someone has, or is at risk of having kidney disease.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease in the United States. In fact, one in three people with diabetes and one in five people with high blood pressure also have kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 31 million adults in the U.S. have kidney disease and many don’t know it. When caught early enough, the progression of kidney disease can be slowed down and in some cases, be prevented altogether. If kidney disease progresses to kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary.

Many people with kidney failure continue working, stay active in the community and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Bupp decided early on that kidney failure wasn’t going to keep him from doing the things he loves. After spending eight months dialyzing in an outpatient center, Bupp switched to peritoneal dialysis (PD) which gave him the flexibility to dialyze in his home and on the go.

“It was a huge blessing to move over to PD,” Bupp says. “It changed my whole world because I was taking control of my own health. I had so much more freedom – I could travel and do stuff during the day.”

After taking control of his diet and nutrition, Bupp lost 60 pounds which has allowed him to remain active. Bupp continues to race cars professionally, run his own business and work out regularly.

“I’ve learned how to delegate my energy to racing,” Bupp says. “Dialysis is not slowing me down. Your life isn’t over. In this seemingly dark place, you can find good in it. Tomorrow is another day.”

People at the greatest risk for kidney disease include those with diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as older adults. Minority populations – particularly Hispanics, African-Americans and American Indians – are also at a disproportionately higher risk of developing kidney disease. Additional risk factors include people with cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol, lupus and a family history of the disease.

Take a one-minute quiz to find out if you may be at risk for kidney disease at