Kidney Problems Persist Among Blacks

Dr. Griffin Rodgers is a familiar, comforting voice to radio listeners. His “Healthy Moments” commentaries are broadcast to audiences across the country and it is his mission to help black Americans understand what stands between them and good health and how to address it.

Rodgers, president of NKDEP, a program of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recently led an initiative, Kidney Sundays, to help African Americans raise awareness of kidney disease in their local community and its link to other diseases seen disproportionately in the black community.

One out of every six African American adults has some sign of kidney disease and black Americans are more than three times as likely to develop kidney failure as white Americans. And 80 percent of new cases of kidney failure among black patients are directly tied to high blood pressure and diabetes.

In March, National Kidney Month, NKDEP, the American Diabetes Association’s Live Empowered Initiative and Chi Eta Phi, a national nursing sorority, sponsored Kidney Sundays, an event in churches around the country, providing kidney education sessions and blood pressure screenings for congregants.

In an interview with Brown Medicine, the alumni magazine of Brown University’s medical school, Rodgers credited his mother, a public health nurse, with showing him how personal intervention with patients could help them make better life choices.

For the complete article, visit Elev8.

Bad Breath: 5 Diseases That Might Be Causing It

African American woman making a faceCan the bad breath causes really include diseases?

Yes.

While poor dental hygiene accounts for most cases of halitosis, bad breath can sometimes be a signal for an underlying medical condition. And even when you take “bad breath” out of the equation, breath can still demonstrate health issues: a slew of recent studies have used simple breath tests to screen for medical conditions.

1. Diabetes

READ: 6 Fixes For Not-So-Fresh Breath

But a fruity breath odor, or an odor similar to acetone (commonly used in nail polish remover) can also signify a serious complication in diabetic patients called ketoacidosis. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, it instead uses fatty acids for energy, which produces acidic ketones, byproducts of fat metabolism. These acids, which include acetone, hydroxybutyrate, and acetoacetate, can accumulate in the blood and lead to a diabetic coma and death.

2. Lung Cancer

Doctors found that among the non-smokers, lung cancer was accurately identified in 128 subjects and misdiagnosed in only five. Among smokers, they correctly identified 114 people as having lung cancer, misdiagnosing five. Both smokers and non-smokers wieth bad breath can be at risk.

READ: 5 Foods Your Dentist Won’t Touch

3. Heart Problems

Researchers were able to use a simple breath test to identify patients suffering from heart failure, according to a March 2013 paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Cleveland Clinic researchers collected breath samples from 41 patients. Twenty five were officially diagnosed with…