Leslie Spry: My name is Leslie Spry and I am a kidney specialist in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am here on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation to talk with you today about understanding chronic kidney disease. Kidneys are extremely important organs in the body. The kidneys weigh less than a pound but yet they filter almost 25% of the output of the heart. The heart is a pump and it supplies blood to kidney. The kidneys then take that blood and regulate all of the chemicals, all of the acids, and all of the pressures inside of the body. Indeed, they are known as the master chemists of the body.
Chronic kidney disease is a major nationwide problem. Currently there are over 26 million individuals who have chronic kidney disease in the United States today and we estimate that there maybe an equal number who are at risk for developing kidney disease. Over 300,000 individuals who are receiving treatment for kidney disease which include both dialysis and transplant, there are a 100,000 individuals in the United States today who are awaiting transplantation of which almost 80,000 are awaiting kidney transplants.
Today there are only about 16 to 17,000 kidney transplants done annually and so there are a number of individuals who are seeking and awaiting transplantation who will never be transplanted. In our series, we are going to be discussing your kidneys and what they do, they are important agents that result in filtration of the body's chemicals and cleaning of the body's blood. We will be discussing kidney disease and the various science and symptoms that are associated with kidney disease. We will then discuss those people who are at risk for chronic kidney disease.
Next, we will discuss early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, how you take care of yourself when you have chronic kidney disease. We will discuss those things that are important from lifestyle management to diet management to medication management and finally, treatment of patients who have chronic kidney disease. We will discuss dialysis and transplant and we will discuss each form of treatment that includes both hemodialysis, peritonealdialysis, and home treatments.
I have been a kidney specialist for 30 years. I started my academic career as a teacher and now I do both research as well as clinical medicine in Lincoln, Nebraska. I have been working with the National Kidney Foundation for over 30 years in both public policy as well as public education. We think the following offerings will be extremely informative for individuals who seek further information regarding kidney disease both for themselves and for their family.