MORNINGTON local Lyn Pearson is urging the community to take a kidney risk test after being diagnosed with kidney disease 20 years ago.
Ms Pearson had very little knowledge of kidney disease when she was first diagnosed.
“I had no symptoms, the only thing I had was that I was tired and my bones ached, which is pretty non-descript,” she said.
Despite living with high lipids for 10 years, Ms Pearson was not made aware of how the condition may affect her kidneys.
That was until she had a different general practitioner who had an interest in her kidney health and told her to take a test.
Soon after, Ms Pearson was on dialysis and had a kidney transplant at 37 years of age, which lasted for eight years.
She is now on self-dialysis and is a strong advocate for people to get their kidney health checked.
“The challenge of dialysis is that it takes up your days, so I actually do self-dialysis – I set up my machine and put my needles in,” Ms Pearson said.
“I do all of that because it gives you the freedom to take a machine home so you don’t have to go in when the nurses are there.”
With Kidney Health Week held in mid-April, Ms Pearson said it was important to take a kidney health check, as it could save someone’s kidneys or allow them to manage it so they could still have a good life.
“It’s a non-descript disease – you think you’ve been working too much and put it down to other things,” she said
“It’s so simple – go online, take the test, and if something sticks out, go and see your doctor straight away.
“Get the ball rolling to hopefully save your kidneys or save yourself a lot of pain and grief.”
Kidney disease causes sufferers to lose up to 90 per cent of their kidney function without experiencing any symptoms, and more Australians die from kidney-related disease each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer and road accidents combined.
Kidney Health Australia chief executive officer Chris Forbes said the kidney risk test could help slow the disease, as well as help people understand the risk factors.
“Since there can be no symptoms of kidney disease, it is vital for people to be vigilant,” he said.
“It’s high time for Australians to take action and not be blind to this devastating illness.”
For more information or to take Kidney Health Australia’s online kidney risk test, visit www.kidney.org.au.
Caption: Mornington local Lyn Pearson is urging people to take a kidney risk test.