Behind the Mystery: Special Edition
December 9, 2020
Learn about how the gut can play a role in serious kidney disease. Plus, what you need to know about sickle cell anemia.
In the United States, sickle cell disease affects an estimated 100,000 people. Patients with severe sickle cell have a very poor quality of life, with frequent pain episodes and trips to the hospital. At 47 years old, Carla Howard has already outlived the average life expectancy. She has made a decision to do everything she can to make a difference for the next generation.
Although it manifests in the kidneys, most scientific studies have found that the cause of this serious kidney disease begins in the gastrointestinal tract. As the disease progresses, up to 50% of patients end up at risk of developing end-stage kidney disease and possible dialysis within 10 to 20 years. The challenge with IgA nephropathy is that most patients don’t actually know they have the disease, and most are diagnosed by chance.
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