PMC’s Dr. Patel says checkups are key to healthy kidneys

Amy Charles

March is National Kidney Month and Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) joins the National Kidney Foundation in urging all Americans to think about their kidney health and schedule a checkup.


“The kidneys are the smartest and most complex organs in the body,” explained Dr. Chinmay Patel, PMC Nephrologist, “and they are involved in various functions including getting rid of excess water and body waste, as well as keeping bones and blood healthy.”


Kidneys filter 200 liters of blood a day, help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production, but they are also prone to disease.


One in three Americans are at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure.


“Chronic kidney disease from diabetes is the most common kidney issue treated at PMC,” said Dr. Patel. Kidney damage caused by diabetes is called diabetic nephropathy. Dr. Patel continued, “In fact, diabetes is the most common cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in the world.”


There are more than 26 million Americans who already have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed.


People with diabetes should get regular screenings for kidney disease.


“PMC offers everything from prevention to treatment of diabetic nephropathy,” said Dr. Patel.


“Early diagnosis and early intervention are the keys to preventing progression to ESRD,” advised Dr. Patel. Tests include a urine test to detect protein in your urine and a blood test to show how well your kidneys are working.


If the damage continues, your kidneys could fail. People with kidney failure need dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.


“We at PMC offer different modalities of dialysis including both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis,” explained Dr. Patel. “We refer patients for getting a kidney transplant.”


“I chose to study nephrology because I like tackling things which I find difficult and complex,” said Dr. Patel.


Dr. Patel is located on the 8th floor of the PMC Clinic Building.


To schedule an appointment for a kidney checkup, please call 606-218-2208.