kidney care

March is National Kidney Month!

One of our free, virtual ‘Survive and Thrive’ classes about chronic kidney disease. Sign up for ​classes at www.pskc.net/classes.

March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness of kidney disease. Learn more about chronic kidney disease — commonly called CKD — and just how vital your kidneys are in making your body function.

What kidneys do

Kidneys filter blood and remove waste. They also control blood pressure, produce red blood cells, balance electrolytes, and help you maintain healthy bones and a normal pH level.

One fifth of the blood pumped by your heart goes to the kidneys, where it is processed and filtered. Excess water, salt, minerals and waste are sent to the bladder as urine and ‘clean’ blood is returned to circulation. It takes just five minutes for all of your blood to be filtered by the kidney which means in 24 hours, your kidneys will filter all of your blood 288 times!

Watch the video below to learn more about these incredible organs.

About chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease happens when your kidneys lose function over time. Although chronic kidney disease is irreversible, it can be slowed. If your kidney function drops to a certain level, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary.

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Other causes of CKD include inherited diseases, inflammatory diseases and infections.

How to keep your kidneys healthy

1. Keep your salt intake to a minimum. Foods high in salt can put a strain on your kidneys. Try to keep your sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day. Avoid high-sodium restaurant meals and processed foods. Instead, make meals at home, with healthy ingredients.

2. Watch your blood pressure. Controlling your blood pressure is the single most important thing you can do to help prolong the life of your kidneys.

3. Stop smoking. Smoking substantially increases your risk for all kidney-related problems, including heart disease.

4. If you have diabetes, control your blood sugars. For more than 40 percent of people with kidney failure, diabetes is the cause. Work with your doctor to help control your blood sugar.

5. Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and controls your blood pressure. Walking, light weights, yoga, gardening — all of these are great ways to get exercise.

6. Avoid over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If you have chronic kidney disease, avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, Advil and Motrin. If you do not have chronic kidney disease, use these medications only as needed.

7. Have your kidneys checked on a regular basis. Kidney disease is often silent, showing no symptoms until you approach the need for dialysis or transplantation. Having your kidneys checked on a regular basis can help identify problems earlier.

Learn more ways to keep your kidneys healthy

Interested in learning more about kidney health? Consider taking one of our free classes! Our virtual classes include one-hour free webinars on kidney health eating, exercising and more. Visit www.pskc.net/classes to sign up for one of our upcoming sessions!

Our Lakewood center opens its doors, a beautiful new facility to serve Pierce County patients

About the state-of-the-art center

On Oct. 3, 2019, over 100 people came out to celebrate the opening of our new dialysis center in Lakewood, WA. Guests enjoyed tours and refreshments at this beautiful facility. At full capacity, this new 29-station dialysis center will accommodate up to 174 in-center dialysis patients. The center, designed by Botesch, Nash & Hall, was created to be a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment for patients and visitors.

“This new facility reflects our ongoing desire to provide a high quality and beautiful care environment for our patients, all in an effort to enhance their quality of life,” says Harold Kelly, PSKC president and CEO.

The 18,150 square foot facility includes three isolation rooms and a permanent bed for patients who need to lie down during dialysis. The facility will house a specialized training area for home dialysis patients, and the center will host free kidney health education classes for patients and the broader community.

Left: Harold Kelly, president and CEO at PSKC, addresses the crowd at the opening ceremony. Right: Our Lakewood staff are ready to serve our new patients in the area.

Introducing our Lakewood medical director

Dr. Ramon Anel has practiced for over 24 years, specializing in critical care medicine and nephrology. He graduated from the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine and completed his residency at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Anel currently practices with the Providence Medical Group in Olympia.

Medical directors are an important part of the Puget Sound Kidney Centers team as they are responsible for assuring the safety and quality of care patients receive at each unit. They are also responsible for implementing the quality advancement projects that assure PSKC continues to identify areas for improvement and innovation. In this capacity, Dr. Anel serves along with a team of professionals that include nurses, technicians, renal dietitians and social workers.

“Dr. Anel has been instrumental in introducing PSKC to the Lakewood community,” says Jenni Tyner, director of nursing at PSKC. “We are delighted to partner with him as we serve the dialysis community of Lakewood.”

Welcome, Dr. Anel, and thank you for your leadership.

Puget Sound Kidney Centers has seven dialysis centers in Washington state. See where we’re located and learn more about us. You can even follow us on social media – we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Kidney-Friendly Summer Recipes

It’s now officially August, and that means it’s the hottest time of year for many of us. Whether you’re planning on having friends and family over, or simply cooking for one, the recipes below are absolute musts. They’re packed full of flavor and low in salt — the perfect combination for people with kidney disease (and their friends and family too)! Here’s a brief look at our top summer foods, with links to the full recipes as well.

Chili Lime Dip With Veggies

The perfect appetizer for any summer meal, this Chili Lime Dip recipe is just as scrumptious as it is easy. Limes are a great way to add flavor and acid to a dish, and they really come through in this one. Chop up some carrots and peppers and you’re good to go!

 

Chicken ‘n’ Grape Salad Sandwich

With both celery and grapes included in this recipe, you’ll have plenty of crunch when you sink your teeth into this delicious sandwich filling. Not only is this one kidney-friendly, it’s easy to whip up as well! Check out the full Chicken ‘n’ Grape Salad Sandwich recipe to see just how simple it is to make.

 

Thai Shrimp Kebabs
Thai shrimp kebabs
Looking for a way to mix up your barbecue menu? Look no further than this recipe for Thai Shrimp Kebabs! Like spicy foods? Load on extra marinade for a bigger kick, then pair with our next recipe for a balanced bite.

 

Asian SlawcoleslawThis Asian Slaw recipe could be included in just about any meal, especially one served in summer. The classic cabbage, grapes, carrot and apple combination is tasty and crunchy, especially when drizzled with such a light dressing.

 

Lemon Loaf
Lemon loaf
Every summer meal needs a light and refreshing dessert, and we strongly recommend considering this Lemon Loaf recipe. With bright, citrusy notes, this dessert is easy to make ahead of time and slice up on demand.

 

Want more kidney-friendly, low sodium recipes for summer, and every season? Check out our recipe page for more!

Kidney-Friendly Superfoods

Should you choose natural foods over processed or packaged foods? Yes and here’s why! Many fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients that help keep your body strong and healthy. Although some of the healthiest choices are high in potassium, smaller servings can usually be added if you need to limit potassium. Ask your dietitian if these kidney-friendly superfoods are right for you.

Apples are a good source of fiber, which can lower cholesterol and blood sugar. The apple peel has extra antioxidants, which can help protect brain cells.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer and heart disease. They also have fiber and vitamin C, good for immune health and digestion.

Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These can help control clotting, improve heartbeat and blood pressure, and lower triglyceride levels.

Kale is packed with vitamins A and C, calcium and other minerals that support eye-health and have anti-cancer benefits.

Strawberries are loaded with fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants that help protect your heart, prevent cancer and fight inflammation.

Spinach is high in vitamins A, C, K and folate, nutrients that help boost your immune system and protect your vision.

Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and B6, and fiber. These nutrients boost your immune system and help your vision, red blood cells, cholesterol and digestion.

Look for recipes that include these superfoods for delicious and healthy eating, and make sure to try this delicious recipe for fruit salsa!

Want more kidney-friendly, low sodium recipes? Check out the recipe section of our website!

Survive and thrive with Tena!

Happy World Kidney Day! Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, have been on dialysis for some time or are waiting for a transplant, there are a number of ways to prolong the life of your kidneys and improve your overall health.

Two years ago, Tena saw a brochure at her nephrologist’s office for PSKC’s Survive and Thrive with Chronic Kidney Disease program, a free community class hosted by PSKC year round. The goal of the program is to teach people with early kidney problems about making successful lifestyle changes. Subjects covered include healthy eating, exercise, blood pressure management, coping with kidney disease and treatment options. In class, participants meet with a doctor, physician assistant, social worker, dietitians and patient mentors.

Tena H. learned more about dialysis through our Survive and Thrive program.

Tena was newly diagnosed with stage three CKD and had a lot of questions and concerns about living a healthy, happy life. After attending the first class, Tena started to feel that “this disease is not a death sentence and there’s a lot of hope.” Specifically, Tena found hope and support hearing from members of the patient organization, The Road Back to Life. “They really make you listen and know you’re not alone.”

After completing the classes, Tena said she learned many new skills to promote her health or, as she calls it, develop a “new normal.” She learned that the nutrition piece and social work piece are just as important as the nephrology visits. She also learned how to appropriately read food labels, cook with different herbs and spices, and plan ahead to carry out a fulfilled life. Tena’s support network expanded as well. She said she walked away from the class feeling that “when you share, you can connect.”

Now Tena is taking what she learned in class and bringing it to her community. Most recently she connected with PSKC social workers to talk with her peers about advance care planning. Thank you, Tena, for sharing your story and helping us ignite new conversations about health and wellness!

Learn more about our free classes at www.pskc.net/classes.