Local Health Organizations Encourage Awareness on Kidney Disease

A screening and healthy eating workshop helps patients understand various factors of kidney disease.

With October winding down and the start of November, winter has at last arrived in southern California. The weather is cooler and people are stocking up on soups, warm clothing, and other necessary items. Though the common cold is one of the things that plagues individual during the winter months, there are other illnesses people should watch out for as well. In particular, kidney disease should be given some notice. As such, last month, the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Our Savior Center/Cleaver Family Wellness Center joined forces for an even that focused on early health prevention of kidney disease

Prior to the event, participants of the event were given a pre-screening at the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation. On the actual date of the event, individuals were given another screening at the clinic by Kaiser Permanente personnel. Kidney disease can form early on and is a silent killer. With these two factors, the organizations decided to have an event that would bring awareness to the illness.

 “It brings a lot of stuff to light, and we’re educated as opposed to note knowing,” said Hector Buston, a patient of one of the clinics run by the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation. “Since I have diabetes, I’m more self-conscious.”

Dr. Mark Rutkowski, a nephrologist at the Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park, and Mimi Pan, a pharmacist from the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park, explained a number of ways in which people can prevent kidney disease in a workshop. One recommendation was adopting healthier eating habits and limiting consumption of canned foods, as they have much processed sugars.

The participants were advised to look at the serving size of food products. In one activity, they compared the sodium in various products, looking at the amounts in cookies versus granola bars and were surprised to find the sodium amount. Both Rutkowski and Pan advocated for increased consumption of fresh vegetable and fruits.

Apart from dietary changes, individuals were encouraged to partake in exercise.

“If you’re feeling better and eating the right food, it’s all related,” said Rutkowski.

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