Dr. Jeff Packer

With an estimated 26 million Americans diagnosed, some see chronic kidney disease as a problem growing bigger and bigger.

Phoenix nephrologist Dr. Jeff Packer, who has treated patients at Fresenius Medical Care in Ahwatukee Foothills, encourages residents to get screened for the disease that afflicts an average of one in nine people in the country.

“If you can diagnose it early, many people can have the disease almost reversed or not experience as much kidney damage,” Packer said.

Chronic kidney disease is a progressive loss of kidney function over a period of time, often caused by diabetes and high-blood pressure. However, with little to no symptoms in its early stages, screening for the disease is crucial, according to Packer.

“It certainly can become severe,” Packer said about the disease if no treatment is done.

For an average person with the disease, who is unknowing, it can slowly progress with the kidneys suffering damage over years without treatment.

As the disease enters later stages, symptoms like lack of energy, trouble sleeping and frequent urination among others start to surface. If diagnosed early, diet and medication can prevent the disease from progressing.

Fresenius Medical Care's Ahwatukee location has been in service for more than 10 years, with the larger joined practice in the Valley since the 1970s.

Screening for chronic kidney disease, as Packer describes, is as simple as blood and urine tests.

“This is a huge problem,” Packer said. “But getting screened is as easy as going to your doctor.”

Fresenius Medical Care is located at 4629 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 100. For more information on how to get screened, talk to your regular doctor or call 1 (866) 434-2597.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com

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