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6 Steps to Healthier Kidneys

Step 1 - Know the Facts:

6 things healthy kidneys do: 

  • Regulate the body’s fluid level
  • Filter wastes and toxins from the blood
  • Release a hormone that regulates blood pressure
  • Activate Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones
  • Release the hormone that directs production of RBC
  • Keep blood minerals in balance (Na, Phos, K)

8 Problems Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) can cause:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Weak bones
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Kidney failure (ESRD)
  • Anemia
  • Death

Step 2 - Assess your Risk: 

  • 4 Main Risk Factors:  Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Disease, Family History of Kidney Disease/Diabetes/High Blood Pressure
  • 10 Additional Risk Factors: African American Heritage, Native American Heritage, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander Heritage, Age >60, Obesity, Low Birth Weight, Prolonged use of NSAIDs, Lupus and Other Autoimmune Disorders, Chronic UTIs, Kidney Stones

Step 3 - Possible Trouble Signs:

Most people with early CKD have no symptoms, which is why early testing is critical. By the time symptoms appear, CKD may be advanced, and symptoms can be misleading. Pay attention to these:  fatigue/weakness, difficult/painful urination, foamy urine, pink or dark urine, increased need to urinate, puffy eyes, swollen face/hands/abdomen/ankles/feet, increased thirst.

Step 4 - Get Tested:

4 Simple Tests: Blood Pressure, Protein in the Urine, Creatinine in Blood, Glomerular Filtration Rate

Step 5 - Stay Healthy:

6 Things People with CKD should do: 

  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Keep blood sugar levels under control, if diabetic
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Avoid NSAIDs (painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen)
  • Moderate protein consumption
  • Get an annual flu shot

9 Things Everyone should do:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Control weight
  • Follow a balanced diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink only in moderation
  • Stay hydrated
  • Monitor cholesterol levels
  • Get an annual physical
  • Know your family medical history

Step 6 - Learn More:

  • Do you need a kidney health check? KEEP HEALTHY- NKF offers free kidney health checks in communities across the country.  A screening will be offered in Charleston on Sat, March 20th from 9am-1pm at Mt. Moria Baptist Church in North Charleston.
  • To learn more about CKD risk factors, prevention and treatment, visit

Guest Post by:

Tina Brown

I’m Tina Brown, the school nurse at Hemingway Elementary School.  I just discovered a way to solve this problem.  It’s called the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance, a collaboration of academic medical centers, community hospitals and local providers delivering care in the school setting.

By connecting the brightest minds from across the state and bringing together innovative resources and scientific breakthroughs, every child can receive access to care – when and where they need it most.  Instead of asking for a day off work and making the long trip to a physician’s office in a neighboring city, parents need only sign the consent forms for telehealth and their child will be seen during school hours. During a telehealth session, the child is at my side as I call in a provider from MUSC Children’s Hospital or the local community for a teleconsult. I can use special instruments - a digital stethoscope, a digital otoscope and an exam cam - to transmit high definition images and audio. The provider sees what I see and hears what I hear. The child’s parent is called and invited to participate in the visit over the phone, and the child’s primary care provider is apprised of the consult. Although rashes and infections are common reasons for teleconsults, the services can also support children with more serious conditions, ensuring that children with asthma, for example, are using their inhalers correctly. 

Watch the video below to see how we use Telehealth in Hemingway.

Learn more about how telehealth is improving health care access for children across South Carolina.


MUSC Health is preparing to start seeing candidates for adult heart transplant surgery after the program has been on a break since May.

As reported by the Post & Courier, Dr. Pat Cawley announced the news to the MUSC Board of Trustees and indicated that particular attention will be paid to post-transplant care.

MUSC Health is the only hospital in South Carolina to offer a heart transplant program and since beginning in 1987, more than 400 heart transplants in adults and children have been performed.

MUSC Health has a dedicated children's hospital providing specialized care for pediatric transplant recipients.

For South Carolinians, whose deaths from heart disease are among the highest in the nation, a heart transplant is one of many options available at MUSC Health for successfully treating end-stage heart failure. South Carolina, is your heart in the right place? It is at MUSC Health.

The Medical University of South Carolina is the exclusive medical sponsor for the Family Circle Cup! We hope you can come out to Daniel Island as we support this event in a variety of ways. 

FCC tennis player in actionVisit the MUSC booth at the Family Circle Cup to enter to win a ride on the MUSC Health Helicopter! Watch our Twitter and Facebook for more details on how to register to win. While you are there, you can sit down for  “Ask a Doc” sessions with physicians from MUSC’s orthopaedics, plastic surgery, and neuroscience departments, participate in kids’ wellness activities, receive a skin cancer screening at the Hollings Mobile Van, or learn to surf with the hottest new “Surf Set” workout.

Don’t forget that Saturday and Sunday, March 29th and 30th is Family 
Weekend, where tickets are only $10! MUSC Health will provide fun kids’ activities, including make your own MUSC Urban Farm Garden-to-Go, and Veggie Twister.

On Monday, March 31st, don’t miss Renee Straub as she speaks at the Grand Lawn about “Skin Cancer Prevention for the Tennis Player.” On Tuesday, April 1st, the Wellness Center and Office of Health Promotion will get the crowd moving with an on-court “Boot Camp” demonstration prior to the second match at 1pm.

On Wednesday, April 2nd, come out and wear pink! MUSC is honored to sponsor “Komen Night” at 7pm, where the Family Circle Cup will donate $1 to every spectator in pink.  

And of course, throughout the entire event, MUSC Health’s sports medicine team will provide excellent care for the elite tennis pros, and our emergency medicine clinicians and MEDUCARE team will serve the participants in the first aid tent.

We hope to see you there!

Progressnotes Year in ReviewMUSC Health’s groundbreaking medical magazine, Progressnotes (PN) releases the first ever Year In Review (YIR) issue. This special issue offers insightful and in-depth articles on the latest innovations and clinical advancements at MUSC Health, the clinical enterprise for the Medical University of South Carolina.

Along with the YIR issue, we proudly announce the launch of a brand new immersive YIR website including feature articles, program highlights, videos, and additional links for connecting with the MUSC Health community.

PN is MUSC Health’s Medical Magazine published quarterly for physicians and medical professionals. PN is written and edited by a team of medical scientists for the purpose of sharing relevant academic research articles documenting MUSC Health's innovative approaches, therapies, and faculty.

To view back issues of PN and subscribe to receive notifications when future issues are available, visit the YIR website.


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