Diary of a Kidney Lover, August 20, 2010

DIARY OF A KIDNEY LOVER

This was meant to be a quick entry to share the trends – some alarming, some inspiring – I’ve been noticing lately.  Somehow it grew.  First of all, kidney disease is a worldwide problem.  It’s getting a lot of press these days, particularly in Australia, where the number of people admitted to the hospital for dialysis treatments has jumped by more than 70% in the last decade.  This may be because they have a tendency to dialyze patients very early – a practice they appear to be re-evaluating given the high cost and questionable health benefits.  But it is also an indicator that the Australian population, like ours, is getting older and more importantly, getting fatter.  You can check out the whole article here. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/18/2986720.htm?section=justin

And fat naturally brings me to food.  I’ve just read a really interesting post explaining why fructose in drinks and foods is so bad for us.  I want to talk more to Dr. Yu about this, because it’s fairly technical, but it appears that fructose could greatly increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease.  At the same time I was reading this, I saw a Tweet touting the miracles of chocolate.  An American Heart Association journal stated that moderate chocolate consumption is linked to lower risks of heart failure in older and middle-aged women.  Of course, the article stressed that the benefits must be weighed against the negatives – excess calories and fat.  Right!  So when my Mom offered me some chocolates yesterday, needless to say, I passed.

Now on to the inspiring.  You probably heard that Grizz Chapman from 30 Rock had a kidney transplant recently – fantastic news!  Transplant stories just make me feel good and I have heard so many lately.  On Twitter, I came upon The Match Story, an upcoming book about one of only 2 face transplants ever.  The Match Story website has a fascinating video about a Boston Med episode based on the story (see it at http://thematchstory.com/) and the Match Story Facebook page is lovingly hosted by the wife of the man whose face was used in this amazing transplant.  Now I really want to explore the facts and history of kidney transplants with one of the USC experts I met recently and I will be reporting what I discover, either here or in our Q & A blogs.  Stay tuned!

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