Global Epidemic: Researchers Warn People as Climate Change Linked to Increase in Chronic Kidney Disease

May 15, 2016  |  Post by:  |  News Comments Off on Global Epidemic: Researchers Warn People as Climate Change Linked to Increase in Chronic Kidney Disease

Here’s another reason why you may not want to work long hours under the extreme heat.

More than global warming, a new study published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), warns that climate change is linked to increased cases of chronic kidney diseases caused by dehydration and heat stress.

The study, lead by Richard Johnson, MD, Jay Lemery, MD (University of Colorado School of Medicine), and Jason Glaser (La Isla Foundation) describe the health consequence of extreme heat as heat stress nephropathy or chronic kidney disease.

The disease, which is not linked with traditional risk factors is already on the rise throughout the world and it is mostly common in hot rural areas such as those in agricultural areas where people are more exposed to heat.

“A new type of kidney disease, occurring throughout the world in hot areas, is linked with temperature and climate and may be one of the first epidemics due to global warming,” Johnson said.

The authors also noted that decreasing amounts of rain we experience because of climate change contribute to the growing epidemic of heat stress nephropathy by reducing water supplies and quality as temperatures rise. This puts extreme stress in kidneys especially on those poor regions composed mainly of farmers and laborers.

“The disease is most common among agriculture workers, particularly men responsible for the hardest manual labor. Its symptoms come on swiftly and suddenly, without many of the traditional precursors of kidney disease such as diabetes and obesity,” MedicalDaily noted.

Dr. Vivekanand Jha, professor of Nephrology at the George Institute for Global Health in New Delhi, who was part of the research team told Times of India that while the impact of the disease is not immediate, the degree of kidney damage occurs slowly, daily. The loss of water and sodium lead to kidney failure even in young and seemingly healthy people.

Meanwhile, aside from chronic kidney diseases, health impact brought by climate change also include cognitive dysfunction, malnutrition, and water-borne infectious diseases.

The researchers urge governments and scientists to work together to conduct epidemiological and clinical studies to document the presence of these epidemics and their magnitude.

Although the study is initially looking at India, the study is also relevant in a global scale as climate change is experienced in every part of the world.

The group has submitted a research proposal to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to “systematically evaluate this epidemic in at least four regions of India along with local nephrologists.”

Full article here

Mysterious kidney disease goes global

April 01, 2016  |  Post by:  |  Blog, News Comments Off on Mysterious kidney disease goes global

Mysterious kidney disease goes global

A small crowd of villagers waits at a low-slung concrete school building in Pedda Srirampuram, a village in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The early morning air is crisp and the men and women are dressed in light shawls and sweaters. Each holds two plastic bags—one with their medical records, the other with a clear plastic container of their urine. They line up to be seen by one of four young men at two large wooden tables.

A researcher named Srinivas Rao sits at the first table. “What’s your name?” he asks a short, wiry man who is next in line. “D. Kesava Rao,” the man replies, handing over his medical records. Rao, the researcher, flips through the pages, noting down details. “His kidneys are not functioning at all,” Rao remarks. “Both his kidneys.”

This is an illness that has substantial mortality. People who would [otherwise] be working, raising families, are dying. It’s quite extraordinary.

Virginia Weaver, epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Kesava Rao, 45, has chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) and depends on dialysis to survive. “Every week I undergo dialysis, 4 weeks a month,” Rao says. A soft-spoken man with a ready smile, Rao has worked all his life on construction sites or coconut farms. He lived a healthy life and hardly ever saw a doctor, he says, until a fever led to an exam and his diagnosis. Rao didn’t have diabetes or, until his kidneys failed, hypertension, the two main causes of chronic kidney disease worldwide. Nor do most of the other villagers who have gathered here, all chronic kidney disease patients, waiting to get a free blood test for creatinine, a metabolite and a proxy for kidney function, and give samples of urine and blood for research.

This region in coastal Andhra Pradesh is at the heart of what local doctors and media are calling a CKDu epidemic. There is little rigorous prevalence data, but unpublished studies by Gangadhar Taduri, a nephrologist at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, in the neighboring state of Telangana, suggest the disease affects 15% to 18% of the population in this agricultural region, known for rice, cashews, and coconuts. Unlike the more common kind of CKD, seen mostly in the elderly in urban areas, CKDu appears to be a rural disease, affecting farm workers, the majority of them men between their 30s and 50s. “It is a problem of disadvantaged populations,” says Taduri, who is leading the team of researchers in the village.

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Mysterious Kidney Disease May Be Linked To Climate Change

January 04, 2016  |  Post by:  |  News Comments Off on Mysterious Kidney Disease May Be Linked To Climate Change

olorado researchers believe a chronic kidney disease that’s killed thousands of agricultural workers in Central America could be linked to climate change. The disease was first described in 2002 by Salvadoran doctors.

Dr. Richard Johnson of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, who has worked with researchers in Central America, recently published an article in Scientific American that says climate change can cause dehydration, which may lead to the disease. He spoke with Colorado Matters host Andrea Dukakis.

Listen to the interview here

Dr. Richard Johnson’s Findings On Sugar Quoted

November 12, 2015  |  Post by:  |  News Comments Off on Dr. Richard Johnson’s Findings On Sugar Quoted

in the Crossfit Journal, sugar, fructose Dr. Richard Johnson

A Mysterious Epidemic Plaguing Central America May Be Linked To Climate Change

October 17, 2015  |  Post by:  |  News Comments Off on A Mysterious Epidemic Plaguing Central America May Be Linked To Climate Change

Dr. Richard Johnson mentioned on HuffPost!

Dr. Richard Johnson featured on!

October 01, 2015  |  Post by:  |  Blog, News Comments Off on Dr. Richard Johnson featured on!

Research: Prehistoric mutation could cause obesity

Dr. Richard Johnson Review’s & Endorse’s Dr. Mercola’s New Book

March 02, 2015  |  Post by:  |  Blog, News Comments Off on Dr. Richard Johnson Review’s & Endorse’s Dr. Mercola’s New Book

“If you want to improve your health, embrace the simple but elegant recommendations of Dr. Mercola. He is consistently ahead of the rest of the medical community, and his approach is solid and based on state-of-the-art scientific evidence.” –Richard Johnson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado, author of The Fat Switch

Purchase Dr. Mercola’s new book on Mercola or Amazon 

Dr. Richard Johnson on Nigel Latta TVNZ

July 30, 2014  |  Post by:  |  Blog, News Comments Off on Dr. Richard Johnson on Nigel Latta TVNZ

Video may only work for those in the southern hemisphere however. Watch here

Fat Switch’ Work Is Full-Speed Ahead

May 29, 2014  |  Post by:  |  Blog, News Comments Off on Fat Switch’ Work Is Full-Speed Ahead

Full article here

New York Times Sunday Review piece ) is all singing more or less the same tune: it’s seems that we get fat not just because of calories, but because of the kind of calories we take in. Sugar – in particular fructose, which is everywhere in the American diet – appears to be a major problem. Which is what Johnson has been saying for years. Not just talk. His conclusions are based on thousands of hours of lab work and described in many scientific papers . The gist is that the prevailing wisdom of weight gain boiling down simply to calories consumed exceeding calories burned may be wrong. Rather, he said, the metabolic roads in our cells have natural forks – in part plowed into our DNA 15 million years ago when we were 20-pound apes. These alternate pathways, Johnson believes, lead to either burning fat or accumulating it. Johnson fits Kuhn’s bill of an established scientist from another field. He is chief of the Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He came into the world of metabolic syndrome – characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, fat around the middle, and high cholesterol levels, all of which boost risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – via study of the kidneys, which suffer when blood pressure rises. In particular, he is known as a uric acid guru. Best known for triggering gout, uric acid also messes with cellular switching as well as mitochondria, the power plants for cells. Johnson and colleagues like Miguel Lanaspa-Garcia, DVM, PhD, can now tell a very complicated story they say helps to explain the much-discussed rise in obesity rates in the United States. Distilled to its essence, it goes roughly like this. In his 2012 book “The Fat Switch,” Richard Johnson, MD, described his team’s work to illuminate why we get fat. He evoked everything from the enzyme AMP deaminase to the hibernation habits of thirteen-lined ground squirrels to do it. Two years later, he alluded to Thomas Kuhn, author of the 1962 classic “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” to describe his team’s role in the broader realms of obesity and diabetes research. “Kuhn said paradigm shifts require someone new to come in or an established scientist from another discipline to enter the field,” said Johnson , a renal specialist who sees patients at University of Colorado Hospital. “We’re coming in more from the side.” The side looks to be moving quickly to the center. A growing chorus (including a recent review in the journal Nature; a National Geographic cover story on sugar; a May 16 commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association and an accompanying Miguel Lanaspa-Garcia, DVM, PhD, a faculty researcher in the Johnson Lab at the CU School of Medicine, takes a magnified look at a thin slice of a mouse liver. The mouse, fed a rich fructose mix, developed a fatty liver (the fat pockets are stained red in this image). Once fringe idea moving toward the middle ‘Fat Switch’ Work Is Full-Speed Ahead

Dr. Johnson on “An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We Crave Sugar”

April 26, 2014  |  Post by:  |  Blog, News Comments Off on Dr. Johnson on “An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We Crave Sugar”

An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We Crave Sugar


An Evolutionary Explanation For Why We Crave Sugar

APR. 25, 2014, 10:01 AM 2,462

GumdropsMarie C Fields/Shutterstock

BI Answers: Why do humans love sugar?

We can blame our sweet tooth on our primate ancestors.

Millions and millions of years ago, apes survived on sugar-rich fruit. These animals evolved to like riper fruit because it had a higher sugar content than unripe fruit and therefore supplied more energy.

“Sugar is a deep, deep ancient craving,” said Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University and author of “The Story the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease.”

And sugar offers more than just energy — it helps us store fat, too.

When we eat table sugar, our bodies break this down into glucose and fructose. Importantly, fructose appears to activate processes in your body that make you want to hold on to fat, explains Richard Johnson, a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Colorado and author of “The Sugar Fix.” At a time when food was scarce and meals inconsistent — hunting is significantly less reliable than a drive-through — hanging on to fat was an advantage, not a health risk.

In a forthcoming paper, Johnson postulates that our earliest ancestors went through a period of significant starvation 15 million years ago in a time of global cooling. “During that time,” he said, “a mutation occurred” that increased the apelike creatures’ sensitivity to fructose so that even small amounts were stored as fat. This adaptation was a survival mechanism: Eat fructose and decrease the likelihood you will starve to death.

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