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Know the Risks and Get Tested for Kidney Disease

African Americans are at greater risk for kidney failure, so learn the risks and talk to your doctor about getting tested.

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DR. RODGERS: As African Americans, we’re at greater risk for kidney failure than other groups. Many people don’t know they have kidney disease because they have no symptoms.

Hi, I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases.

Philly rapper Freeway explains how he found out about his disease.

FREEWAY: At first, I felt invincible, like kidney disease couldn’t happen to me—but it did. For months I was sick and I didn’t know it. I was running around with three of the leading risk factors for kidney failure: one being hypertension, another one being diabetes, and surprisingly, just being African American is a risk factor.

I went to the doctors because I was feeling groggy and tired. I was diagnosed with kidney failure. I was on dialysis until, thankfully, I was able to get a kidney transplant. If you’re at risk, find out what’s going on with your body. Talk to your doctors about getting tested.

DR. RODGERS: For more information, follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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