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Understanding kidney disease

Recently, comedian and late night host John Oliver dedicated most of his popular show "Last Week Tonight" spotlighting problems with companies who provide kidney dialysis to Americans. It was an eye-opening feature story, and help shed the light on a disease that affects millions of Americans throughout the United States, including those from Atlanta, Georgia, all of Fayette County and the surrounding area.

Chronic kidney disease, also known as "CKD," affects as many as 26 million Americans and can lead to other serious health concerns, including heart disease and hypertension. Common causes of CKD include high blood pressure and diabetes, accounting for as much as two-thirds of all cases. Minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics, as well as seniors, are also at an increased risk.

Those suffering from chronic kidney disease may suffer from serious symptoms, such as feeling tired with less energy, swollen feet and ankles and the inability to fall asleep. If untreated, it could also lead to kidney failure and death. If such symptoms affect your ability to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits for illnesses.

As we have stressed before, it is important to note that Social Security Disability is not designed to pay for medical expenses associated with your illness, injury or mental condition, but may be used to help offset the loss of income while you fight the disease. You may want to get more information to learn about how Social Security Disability benefits can help you and to see whether or not you may qualify.

Source: National Kidney Foundation, "About Chronic Kidney Disease," Accessed May 15, 2017

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