Patient, Physician Write 5-step Survival Guide for Kidney Disease
| Indianapolis—After receiving a new kidney, a local woman paired with her transplant physician to write a book aimed at helping others with or at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The book, “Kidney Steps,” written by Vicki Hulett and her daughter and donor, Jennifer Waybright, and edited by Indiana University Health transplant nephrologist Tim Taber, M.D., aims to help patients like Hulett avoid chronic kidney disease or slow its progression by reducing diabetes risk and high blood pressure, two leading causes of CKD.
This survival guide combines statistics, research and healthy lifestyle plans in an easy-to-read, five-step format.
- Step 1: Know Your Odds includes quizzes to help readers determine their risk, odds of survival and treatment options.
- Step 2: Know Your Stuff provides educational information about diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease, including statistics, current research and patient interviews.
- Step 3: Take Charge challenges the patient to partner with a nephrologist (kidney specialist) and make key lifestyle changes in order to prevent or slow disease progression.
- Step 4: Eat for Healthy Kidneys reveals the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan along with meal plans and recipes for optimum nutrition.
- Step 5: Exercise for the Kidney encourages physical activity for kidney health and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions associated with CKD.
When Hulett was diagnosed, she had already lost nearly 70 percent of kidney function, yet strangely showed no symptoms. She knew little about the disease, and as she searched for more facts and patient advice, she was frustrated by the quality of available resources.
"Most of the books were out of date, and I had to search multiple sites to get the wide range of information I wanted—the most recent statistics, research and descriptions," said Hulett, an attorney. "A main goal of 'Kidney Steps' was to put all of that important information in one place with easy-to-understand terms."
In order to ensure the book's accuracy, Hulett and Waybright solicited the help of Dr. Taber, the medical director for IU Health's kidney transplant program, the state's largest program of its kind. This pairing gives readers two separate, yet important, perspectives.
"This book, written by kidney patients for kidney patients, is very personal – the first of its kind," said Dr. Taber. "It discusses dealing with kidney disease and teaches others how to preserve kidney function, empowering patients to take charge of their health."
"Kidney Steps: A 5-Step Survival Guide for People with Diabetes, Hypertension, or Kidney Issues" is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels. Hulett is also developing a website to provide patients with the latest information and to allow patients and donors to connect and share their stories.
Facts about IU Health Transplant:
- IU Health is the ninth largest kidney transplant program in the U.S. and the fourth largest overall transplant program in the nation, according to the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. IU Health performs approximately 250 kidney transplants per year – nearly half of which are from living kidney donors. Last year, IU Health performed more than 75 percent of all kidney transplants done in Indiana.
- IU Health Transplant offers Medicare-approved kidney, pancreas, liver, intestine, heart, lung and multivisceral (multi-organ) transplants and has some of the shortest wait times and best outcomes in the country. Unlike many other programs, an IU Health transplant surgeon personally reviews each potential donor, which increases the number of organs accepted for transplant and reduces wait times for organs.
- Through its unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation's largest medical schools – IU Health Transplant combines clinical expertise, research and teaching excellence to provide quality state-of-the-art care to patients.
To interview Vicki Hulett or Tim Taber, please contact Abby Gras at 317.963.0833.
About Indiana University Health - Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News Media & World Report for 14 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of medicine - one of the nation’s leading medical schools - gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.