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St. Claire HealthCare’s Nephrology Department Improves Lives of Those with Kidney Disease

St. Claire HealthCare’s Nephrology Department Improves Lives of Those with Kidney Disease

Kidney issues are on the rise globally, with millions of people each year undergoing treatments for kidney injury or chronic kidney disease (CKD). Kenneth Afenya, MD, and St. Claire HealthCare (SCH)’s Nephrology Department are here to help.

Diabetes and hypertension are among some of the leading causes of kidney disease due to the connectedness between the kidneys and both blood pressure and blood sugar. While kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very advanced, you may notice some of the following:

  • Feeling more tired or have less energy
  • Having a poor appetite
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Developing swollen feet and ankles
  • Developing a rash or dry, itchy skin
  • Having noticeably decreased or increased urine output
  • Having blood in the urine
  • Experiencing multiple joints that hurt

“If you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, do not panic,” says Dr. Afenya. “When caught early there are several ways we can treat and even decrease the progression of the disease. Early detection is key.”

Dr. Afenya will use a variety of diagnostic methods, including blood tests, urine tests, and kidney imaging studies, to test for a diagnosis of kidney disease, and create a customized treatment plan, based on your symptoms and needs.

“With chronic kidney disease, knowledge is power,” Dr. Afenya added. “Make sure you know your stage of kidney disease and your numbers. This information can make a great impact on your treatment and the progression of the disease”

Even though kidney disease may be difficult to prevent, you can reduce your risk by taking steps to maintain the health of your kidneys.

  • Get an annual physical.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do not smoke, as smoking damages your kidneys and may make kidney disease worse.
  • Work with your healthcare provider to control any conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, that may increase your chances of developing kidney disease.
  • Ask your healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medications, as some of these may contribute to kidney disease.

If you are concerned about kidney disease, talk to your primary care doctor about scheduling a consultation with Dr. Afenya.

Dr. Afenya joined the SCH medical staff in January. He completed medical school at the University of Ghana before moving to New York in 2004, where he completed his internal medicine residency at The Brooklyn Hospital Center. After residency, he relocated to Tennessee, where he served as the medical staff president at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Tipton. Dr. Afenya later moved to Lexington, where he completed his nephrology fellowship through the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. For the past two years prior to joining SCH, he has worked in private practice in Lexington.

St. Claire HealthCare’s Nephrology Department is located on the 2nd floor of the St. Claire Medical Pavilion at Flemingsburg Rd., in Morehead. Referrals are required.