The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 15% of adults — 37 million of us — have chronic kidney disease. That’s roughly one in seven Americans. Meanwhile, that number is closer to 38% for seniors aged 65 and over. In that light, new renal disease treatments are often cause for celebration. Consider these facts:
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) strikes people of all ethnic backgrounds almost equally (within a few percentage points of each other).
- Both men and women face roughly the same risk.
There’s good news on the horizon, however. In April 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved FARXIGA (dapagliflozin) to reduce the risk of kidney function decline or failure, hospitalization, and cardiovascular death (heart failure) in adults with CKD.
CKD occurs when a person’s kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood efficiently. This defective filtering leads to complications related to fluid, electrolyte, and waste build-up in the body. One standard treatment for CKD is dialysis, an ongoing treatment that filters and cleanses a patient’s blood at a hospital or dialysis center.
Seniors With Diabetes Should Exercise Caution With FARXIGA
Studies show that FARXIGA can reduce hospitalizations for heart failure among Type 2 diabetes patients — by 27%.
However, seniors shouldn’t use Farxiga if they are on dialysis treatment or have a history of reactions to the drug. In addition, seniors with diabetes should exercise extreme caution because life-threatening cases of Fournier’s Gangrene — a severe infection that kills tissues — have occurred in patients with diabetes. In addition, some patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes experienced ketoacidosis during treatment with FARXIGA.
Ultimately, seniors who take FARXIGA should do so under the care of their primary care physicians.
The manufacturer also recommends that patients consider a lower dose of insulin to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) while taking FARXIGA. Note that this medication may also cause dehydration, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections.
About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Seniors
Renal disorders can be life-threatening, especially among seniors. That’s why this FDA approval is so exciting!
Our kidneys are vital, as they balance the water and minerals in our bodies and remove cellular waste. Still, chemical treatments and medications can put an additional strain on our kidneys.
When kidney damage occurs, it leads to water buildup, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath.
Other complications include:
- Weak bones and increased risk of fractures
- Damage to the central nervous system
- A depressed immune system that struggles to fight infection
- Pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding your heart (pericardium)
That’s why it’s essential that seniors with CKD have the best care. At David York Agency, we can provide the specialized care needed by seniors with CKD or renal failure.
Preventing Renal Disease
Most people don’t know that some behaviors, even “healthy” ones, can increase our risk for renal disease. In fact, the long-term use of NSAIDs (like Tylenol and Ibuprofen) makes our kidneys work harder and “burn out” faster. And, no matter how healthy we are, our risk for kidney disease increases with age.
Ultimately, the best ways to combat renal disease are:
- Adopting a smoke-free lifestyle
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding dangerous chemicals in products
In addition, be sure to provide your loved ones with the extra care they need. Remember, more than a third of our elderly population suffers from renal disease.
At David York Home Healthcare Agency, our mission is to provide individualized care for seniors with unique needs. If your family member suffers from CKD or renal disease, our medically-trained team can help.
David York Agency Understands the Significance of New Renal Disease Treatments
If the above information about renal disease treatments has been useful, check out David York Agency’s blog for more articles about senior care in Manhattan.
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