Michael Wiblishauser

Michael Wiblishauser

Kidney disease is a health issue that negatively affects the lives of many Texans. In the U.S., it is one of the leading causes of death among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many times, it causes damage to the kidneys and affects their ability to filter blood and urine. The two biggest risk factors for the disease are hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. The ultimate goal of an effective kidney disease prevention program should center on controlling these two risk factors. In addition, these factors may increase the risk in developing other health issues (e.g. heart disease, stroke).

The Victoria Alliance for Chronic Kidney Disease is a coalition of community groups that aims to reduce the risks of kidney disease in at-risk individuals living in Victoria County.

The University of Houston-Victoria is working with the Victoria County Health Department and other local groups in developing and implementing the program. The program is funded by a grant to the UH Foundation from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas’ (BCBSTX) Healthy Kids, Health Families (HKHF) community investments program.

This is a free lifestyle program that is looking to prevent or minimize the risk of kidney disease by reducing or controlling hypertension or Type 2 diabetes. This program is slated to last for one year.

The program’s recruitment goal is to reach 100 participants. These participants will receive blood pressure and blood glucose screenings, and urine tests to determine if they have kidney damage or are at risk for diabetes or hypertension at the beginning of the program.

Based on the results from the screenings, the participants will be placed into one of three risk categories: low, moderate or severe. Monthly screenings will be conducted, tracked and recorded by the researchers. The results from the screenings will be confidential, and only the researchers will have access to them.

During the year, participants will have access to health education sessions including nutrition, physical activity plans and speakers who will share information about healthy living such as how to reduce and handle stress. These health education sessions will be scheduled on a bi-weekly basis.

All of these programs (nutrition and physical activity plans) will be modified to match the current states of the participants. Participants’ blood pressure and blood glucose levels will be screened on a monthly basis.

Participants will be provided with valuable educational resources and aids that will assist them in living healthier lives. In addition, participants will be shown how to prepare healthy meals.

If you have been diagnosed or are at risk for kidney disease or its two biggest risk factors, this program is for you.

Please contact me at 361-570-4178 or wiblishauserm@uhv.edu. This is a free program aimed at helping you lead a healthier life.

The next screening session will be held in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room.

This session is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 30, between 5 and 7 p.m.

Michael Wiblishauser, PhD, CHES is an assistant professor of health studies at the University of Houston-Victoria.

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