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CKD and Dialysis in Israel The price patients pay
Ariela is preparing her dinner.
In awe, she removes the tomato from the plastic bag.
Today, she decided to indulge herself with an additional slice of tomato.
This is no trivial matter.
Ariela is a kidney dialysis patient.
One extra slice of tomato can cause her body serious damage.
If I eat it at all, I eat two slices. That's all.
I can steal some more.
I'm having dialysis tomorrow, it'll get cleaned.
Ariela is one of 5,500 kidney patients on dialysis in Israel.
For those not familiar with the disease,
it's difficult to explain what this means for the patients.
Things which are trivial for healthy people,
are taboo for dialysis patients.
For example, passing a vegetable store and taking a few things home.
These are unreal, amazing.
I miss touching a strawberry, eating a banana,
but it's suicide for me, straight to the emergency room.
So is a tomato... and forget about a potato.
It's as toxic as a banana. It's the same thing.
With the approaching World Kidney Day,
disturbing data is being published in Israel indicating an increase
in kidney diseases in recent years.
In the past five years there has been a 50% increase
in the number of patients waiting for kidney transplants.
At the same time there's been a 25% decrease in kidney donations.
For kidney patients, this means that the hope
of returning to a normal life is growing more distant.
1,000 of them will die by the end of the year.
For a dialysis patient
one can simply say,
that he lives life every other day.
Four times a week...
18 hours a week.
Figure out how much that is in a month,
that's my job here at Kaplan Hospital.
When this is what life is about,
it's hard to find many bright sides to hold on to.
I'm divorced, I have two wonderful sons,
Ben and Gur who give me the will to live.
Would you like to stop for a moment?
I'm very close to them and they're my hope for living.
One out of every 10 Israelis will be afflicted with kidney disease
during his lifetime.
It usually starts with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Lack of follow up and treatment of these conditions
can result in kidney damage.
From this point to dialysis is only a matter of time.
I think there is always place for improvement.
There is certainly place to improve awareness among the general public
and among family physicians
on the importance of follow-up on kidney functions
and the appearance of protein in urea or any other symptom.
There isn't enough control today
and exposure of all those people who should come in for a follow-up,
not necessarily to nephrologists but at least for continued monitoring.
It's certainly lacking and there's definitely room for improvement.
When reaching the dialysis stage, there's only one direction,
transplantation or death.
On the way there, they gradually lose their livelihood
and sometimes their self respect.
During the first year of dialysis, I used to cover my face
so that no one would see me, no one would discover me.
I didn't want anyone to know that I was on dialysis.
I did everything quietly, secretly.
No, I'm not sick. I'm not sick. I kept denying it.
The shame of not having money to buy my grandson or granddaughter an outfit
or a birthday present.
But this is not a predetermined fate.
Today it's possible to treat chronic kidney diseases
through early detection and preventive treatment
in the early stages of the disease.
Proper management of the disease can save lives.
I think that more awareness is needed
for the public to go to doctors.
People who are at risk... it's important to clarify this matter,
who should have checkups more often than others,
are those with a family background of kidney diseases,
diabetes or high blood pressure,
or smokers over the age of 50, there is a connection to the disease.
We should pay attention to a number of parameters.
First of all, kidney functions. Are they normal or not,
and if not, have the family physician refer you to a nephrologist.
Check urine tests, which are very important.
The first warning signs appear in blood tests.
Abnormal blood tests must be referred to a nephrologist.
I think the message is clear.
"Brought to you as a public service by The Israel National Kidney Foundation"