Kidney Failure Is More Common Than You May Think

African-Americans have an increased risk of developing the disease.

Posted: 01/04/2012 04:28 PM EST

Mariah Carey announced on Twitter Wednesday that her husband, rapper and actor Nick Cannon, is suffering from what she called “mild kidney failure.”


Unbeknownst to many African-Americans, due to high rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, Blacks have an increased risk of developing kidney failure and requiring dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to sustain life.


With approximately 14.7 percent of all African-Americans over 20 years of age having diabetes, and about a third of diabetes cases among African-Americans undiagnosed, the National Kidney Foundation claims that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure for African-Americans.


The organization claims that it is important for everyone, but especially African-Americans, to be aware of the risk factors and visit their doctor or clinic regularly to check their blood sugar, urine protein, kidney function and blood pressure.


The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists bloody stools, breath odor, bruising easily, changes in mental statuses, decreased appetite, fatigue, hand tremors, high blood pressure and nose bleeds amongst some of the common symptoms.


A kidney or abdominal ultrasound is the preferred test for diagnosing kidney failure, but abdominal x-ray, abdominal CT scan or abdominal MRI can tell if there is a blockage in the urinary tract.


If a cause is found, dialysis may be needed. The goal of treatment is to restore kidney function and prevent fluid and waste from accumulating in your body while your kidneys heal.


In order to prevent kidney problems, treat disorders such as high blood pressure by intaking minimum amounts of salt and consulting a health practitioner.


BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world.


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