August 4, 2008

10 Warning Signs You Might Have Kidney Disease

Twenty-six million Americans--more than the entire population of New York state--suffer from chronic kidney disease. And another 20 million are at increased risk - yet, many may not know it.

In observation of Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week, Aug. 11-15, 2008, Fresenius Medical Care North America reminds people to look for symptoms that might be an indication of kidney disease.

"With so many people already diagnosed with conditions that can lead to kidney disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, educating the community is more important than ever," says Joseph Pulliam, M.D., a nephrologist (kidney specialist) at Fresenius Medical Care. "Unfortunately, far too many people don't recognize the warning signs until it's too late." 10 Symptoms of Kidney Disease

-- Changes in urination

-- Swelling of face, hands, and/or feet

-- Feeling more tired than usual

-- Nausea/vomiting

-- Headache, feeling dizzy

-- Having trouble thinking clearly

-- Severe itching not related to a bite or rash

-- Shortness of breath, or feeling that you can't catch your breath

-- Loss of appetite, or change in the way foods taste

-- High blood pressure

If you have these symptoms, you should check with your doctor. Also, to help educate people about kidney disease, Fresenius offers a free Treatment Options Program (TOP) in local communities across the country. The program is targeted toward at-risk patients and their families. At the TOP sessions, Fresenius nurses and staff talk about managing chronic kidney disease, transplantation, dialysis choices and patient support services. The sessions are open to the public.

Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week is sponsored annually by the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) as a way to educate policy makers about the needs of patients suffering from, or at risk for, end stage renal disease.

"Early detection and treatment are the best tools for slowing or halting the progression of kidney disease," says ANNA President Sue Cary, M.N., A.P.R.N., N.P., C.N.N. "During Kidney Disease Awareness and Education Week, we are trying to make policy makers and the general public more aware of kidney disease, treatment options, and related legislative issues."

To learn more about general kidney health or to find a TOP session near you, please visit (in English and Spanish).

More information about Kidney Disease and Awareness Education Week is available on ANNA's Web site,

MEDIA CONTACT: To arrange an interview with a Fresenius nurse or staff member, please contact Nicole Gustin at 617-638-0022 or [email protected]

Statistics according to the National Kidney Foundation

About Fresenius Medical Care North America

Fresenius Medical Care North America is a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, the world's largest integrated provider of products and services for individuals undergoing dialysis because of chronic kidney failure, a condition that affects more than 1,600,000 individuals worldwide. Through its network of 2,297 dialysis clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatment to approximately 177,059 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the world's leading provider of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME, FME3) and the New York Stock Exchange (FMS, FMS-p).

For more information about Fresenius Medical Care's U.S. network of more than 1,650 dialysis facilities, visit the Company's website at For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit the Company's websites: or

About the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA)

ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.