Are you at risk for kidney disease? 

Jan 25, 2024, 5:59 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2024, 10:52 am

LOGAN – Steve Adams is not afraid of making friends, even at the dialysis center.

Or jokes.

“There’s a guy that sits kitty-corner from me. I said, ‘I can’t believe you can’t remember me. We were in jail together!'” he laughed. “It took three weeks before he realized that we had not been in jail together.”

But when it comes to his health, there’s some fear present. “It’s scary,” Adams said.

Due to his high blood pressure – one of the leading causes of kidney disease – Adams has been on dialysis for four years.

“I go three days a week,” he said. “I spend four hours a day.”

Dialysis is a treatment used to clean and filter blood when one’s kidneys are unable to do so.

“Dialysis is very challenging,” said Dr. Mark Kraus, a nephrologist with Intermountain Logan Dialysis Center. “It’s like a part-time job. You have to show up for it or you don’t benefit from it.”

Kraus said dialysis can be done in person at a center or home. Some people experience side effects like fatigue, muscle cramps or nausea.

Aside from those with high blood pressure, Kraus said those most at risk for kidney problems are diabetics.

“There’s a growing understanding of how kidney disease is spreading,” he said. “And it’s really happening not only because there is an increased incidence of diabetes nationally, but also there’s an increased incidence of hypertension.”

Other groups at risk include people over the age of 65, those with a family history of kidney issues, and minorities. According to the National Kidney Foundation, African Americans are more than three times more likely, and Hispanics more than 1.3 times more likely, than white Americans to have kidney failure.

Kraus said when caught early, kidney disease is treatable. But if left untreated, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, which is when dialysis or a transplant is needed. Whether or not to get a transplant is an individual decision.

“Kidney transplants are a wonderful gift that someone receives,” Kraus said. “It’s a wonderful gift that someone can give. And by having a kidney transplant, that individual can stop requiring dialysis.”

Adams has been on the transplant waitlist for four years, all while keeping a smile on his face.

“Attitude is 80% of making anybody heal,” he said. “And so if that’s the case, I’ll keep plugging.”

Adams attributes his positivity in part to the nurses and doctors who care for him, and the friends he’s made in other patients.

“Don’t downplay the social element,” Kraus said. “There is a community at the dialysis center between the staff and the patients, patients and other patients.”

Adams especially gets by through the support of his wife of 56 years.

“Caregivers are the biggest part to keep your attitude right,” he said. “And I’ve got the best. She’s my rock. I’m just grateful.”

If you fall into one of the high-risk groups, talk to your primary care provider about getting tested for kidney disease.

There are simple ways to keep your kidneys functioning properly.

Kraus said good heart health is also good kidney health. By doing heart-healthy things like staying active, having a low-salt, low-cholesterol diet, and managing your blood pressure, you’re taking care of your kidneys, too.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Chris and Aimee Tyler, speaking about their experience with Chris's pancreatic cancer diagnosis....

Emma Benson

‘Cancer can affect anybody’: Utah couple processes pancreatic cancer diagnosis

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and often goes undetected until it's advanced. One Utah County man is fighting for more time with his loved ones.

6 hours ago

Ruth Norton uses the ArthroFit gym to help senior patients prevent, prepare for and recover from su...

Emma Benson

Intermountain program helps seniors fight joint pain, recover from surgery

Ruth Norton has had her fair share of health challenges, including double-knee surgery, open-heart surgery, and breast cancer. 

7 days ago


Emma Benson

‘The place we love isn’t healthy’: Millcreek couple weighs decision of moving due to poor air quality

No one is immune to the dangers of air pollution. What if you had to choose between staying in Utah while risking a premature death, or leaving behind family, your career, and your roots to move somewhere new for the sake of your health? One Millcreek couple is facing that exact scenario. #yourlifeyourhealth

14 days ago

Jayde St. Clair (left) with her newborn child being held by her husband....

Emma Benson

How childbirth education classes can help moms prepare for labor

Intermountain Health is offering prenatal courses for parents that cover everything from pregnancy to labor and delivery to postpartum care.

21 days ago

Chris and Amy Pendleton chat in their Midway home. Doctors are treating Chris Pendleton's advanced ...

Emma Benson

New treatment helps Midway man live with advanced prostate cancer

Approximately one out of eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Chris Pendleton, of Midway, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Thanks to a new treatment, he can continue to enjoy doing the things he loves.

1 month ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Are you at risk for kidney disease?