Annie's Mailbox: Discovering kidney disease later in life
Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease five years ago during an annual physical at the age of 79. I did not have hypertension, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease – the distinctive risk factors for kidney disease – although my age should have been a red flag.
Looking back on my medical history, it turns out my kidney numbers were abnormal for some time. I was told that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may have caused my kidney damage. It was a surprise to me that such a common drug did more harm than good. Since then, I’ve stopped the use of NSAIDs, but I feel many other people might be in the same boat I was in. I hope you can spread the word to help others keep their kidneys healthy. -- Better Now
Dear Better: Thank you for the information. NSAIDs (such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex and other commonly used pain relievers) don’t generally pose a problem for most people who use them in small doses on occasion. But there can be side effects, especially if you use the drugs for weeks at a time. They can cause bleeding ulcers, fluid retention, rashes, and kidney and heart problems. If you are taking any anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter drugs, please let your doctor know.
Kidney disease often goes undetected, because symptoms may not appear until the kidneys are close to failure. The good news is that early detection and proper treatment can slow the progression of kidney disease. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or are over the age of 60, you should get your kidneys checked.
March is National Kidney Month and March 10 is World Kidney Day. The National Kidney Foundation urges readers to be proactive with their health. To learn more, visit www.kidney.org.
Dear Annie: Your response to “Sick of Men Complaining” was right on. She said no matter what meal she prepares for her husband, he always finds something to criticize about it. Aside from pointing out that she seems to have a predilection for picking out men she cannot possibly please, you told her to inform him that he can cook his own meals if hers are not to his liking.
If my wife prepared an elegant meal for me and I complained about it like that, you can be sure she would tell me where to go. She also would inform me that from now on, I would be cooking my own food. And she would have followed through on that.
Her straightforward confidence makes me appreciate the wonderful wife and mother that she is. – Pretty Darn Happy in New Mexico
Dear New Mexico: We are delighted to hear from someone who appreciates his spouse and the efforts she puts into their meals, and more important, thinks her direct and honest attitude is something to be admired. We trust she returns the same level of respect.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.