Diabetes, chronic kidney disease increases in Colorado

Rates have gone up over the last ten years
Posted at 11:03 AM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-10 13:06:48-04

DENVER — The rate of diabetes and chronic kidney disease has gone up over the last 10 years in Colorado. 

Roy Darden must receive dialysis treatments three days each week at DaVita, one of the largest kidney care companies in the U.S., headquartered in Colorado. 

"I tell my wife when I'm going, I say, 'I'm going to my job, I'm going to work,'" said Darden. 

Darden must spend five hours at the clinic for each session. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 20 years ago. His kidneys started to fail four years ago.

Sugary drinks and a bad diet might be to blame, Darden explained. He said he's been forced to change his diet. 

"I grill a lot," Darden said. "Vegetables also, broccoli, green beans, peas, stuff like that."

The state health department estimates one in three people in Colorado have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes within six years. 

"A lot of our patients have a lot of diabetes and high blood pressure," Dr. Jeff Guillian said in reference to his patients at various DaVita clinics.

People with diabetes are more at risk to developing chronic kidney disease. The rate for both diseases have gone up in recent history.

Guillian said diabetes in Native Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans have elevated rates compared to other races

"Primary care physicians are looking for it more than they have in the past and we are finding it," Guillian said. "Also, because the rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are going up, we're seeing more patients diagnosed for chronic kidney disease." 

Eating lean meats, vegetables and cutting out unhealthy foods can decrease your chances of developing diabetes. 

Darden said he now stays active. 

"Be active. Colorado is a really healthy state. Get as much exercise as you can," said Darden.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, frequent urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss and tingling or numbness in hands or feet are symptoms of diabetes. 

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