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Healthy Tip: Kidney Disease Prevention


African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure mostly due to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Because kidney disease often has no symptoms, it can go unnoticed until it is very advanced. But there’s good news. Taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards reducing risk, and early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.

Dr. Crystal Tyson

According to Dr. Crystal Tyson, a nephrologist and hypertension specialist at Duke University Medical Center, “Eating healthy and exercising does not have to be bland, dry and boring! It is important to plan ahead and find creative ways to add healthier foods to your diet and to increase the amount of activity in your daily routine. While medications are necessary and important to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease, no medication that I prescribe can compare to the health benefits that you can receive from eating a healthy diet and exercising more. In other words, a healthy diet and exercise is the ‘best’ medicine”

Kidney Disease Prevention

  • Keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm/Hg. Check with your health provider for your target.
  • Take your medication as directed
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese and maintain a normal body weight
  • Develop healthy eating habits by lowering the salt, sugar and cholesterol in your diet and eating more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and beans.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 days per week
  • Avoid frequent use of pain medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), BC powder and Goody’s powder as these medications can harm the kidneys
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman and 2 drinks per day if you are a man
  • If you have diabetes, meet blood sugar targets as often as you can.

What to do?

Not everyone who has diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or with a family history of kidney disease will get it. But if you have any of these risk factors, you should:

  • Get tested for kidney disease
  • Get tested for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to exercise, eat healthy, lose weight if needed, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol. A healthy lifestyle can keep you from getting kidney disease. It can also help slow or stop kid
    ney disease from getting worse


March is also colon cancer awareness month, please remember to eat fiber, try to achieve ideal weight by eating healthy foods and exercising, know your family history, and get a colonoscopy if you are over 50.

People living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population. Remember stress affects bad decisions like snacking, overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol!

Remember your ABCs

Always eat healthy,

Be active and exercise regularly, and

Check your blood pressure. Aim to keep it below 130/80 mmHg

Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Duke Energy.

REMEMBER Healthy People 2020:    A Clear Vision to Healthy Living!


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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