Freeman Medical Focus — National Kidney Month

JOPLIN, Mo. — March is National Kidney Month, a chance to raise awareness of the different issues patients experience and how they’re treated.

Priscilla Tuuth, Dialysis Patient, said, “All at once I started to swell up, my toes and fingers.”

At first Priscilla Tuuth hoped it would just go away on its own. Instead, she started having trouble breathing and headed to the hospital.

“I was having kidney failure.”

At first, she was able to do peritoneal dialysis at home. But after a few years, that turned into trips to the Freeman Dialysis Center. Three times a week, for more than four hours at a time. The process can be exhausting.

“Sometimes I only have enough energy to drive home.”

Dr. Abdul Nagaria points out there are around 10,000 patients dialysis patients in Missouri alone.

Dr. Abdul Nagaria, Freeman Nephrologist, said, “Kidney disease is common, chronic issues where the kidneys gets worse over time.”

He says early diagnosis and treatment is the key. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes.

“The third most common is called glomeral nephritis – a group of conditions where there’s inflammation in kidneys.”

Dr. Nagaria says exercise and eating right are often good strategies to help prevent kidney issues. Something Priscilla Tuuth can’t stress enough. Because once you start dialysis, you’re only other option is a transplant.

Priscilla Tuuth, Dialysis Patient, said, “Dialysis is a lifeline, you can’t ever stop.”