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Are you taking care of your kidneys?

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By Z. K
Tue, 03, 19

World Kidney Day, celebrated in March, is an awareness day that brings global attention to the importance of kidney health. You! takes a look...

world kidney day

World Kidney Day, celebrated in March, is an awareness day that brings global attention to the importance of kidney health. You! takes a look...

Your kidneys take care of you every day. The kidneys are vital organs in our bodies. They clean waste products out of your blood and eliminate excess fluids, turning them into urine to exit your body through your bladder. Kidneys also help regulate your body’s fluid balance, electrolytes, salt, and water. Not caring for your kidneys, or for your body as a whole, can put you at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) which means your kidneys are not working at full capacity and cannot filter out the toxins as they should. One may experience swelling of feet and ankles, decreased appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath, changes in urination pattern, nausea and vomiting and trouble with concentration. Proper kidney functioning is key to a healthy overall life. Luckily, by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can take active steps towards making sure your kidneys are well taken care of...

Monitor your blood pressure: Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardio- Vascular Diseases.

Cut back on foods high in salt, sugar, or saturated fats: Eating too much salt impedes the correct functioning of the kidneys and can cause kidney stones. Eating too much sugar or saturated fats is also bad for your overall health and can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which is bad for your kidneys. Swap out salty or processed snacks with fruits and vegetables or other healthy alternatives like unsalted nuts.

Limit your portion sizes to avoid overeating: Serve yourself small portions of food and eat slowly. The kidneys function better if you maintain an appropriate weight for your physique and age.

Hydrate, but don’t overdo it: While it’s always a good idea to drink enough water, drinking more than the typical four to six glasses a day probably won’t help your kidneys do their job any better.

Increase physical activity: Physical activity offers many health benefits, including decreasing blood pressure, increasing muscle strength, lowering blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides), improving sleep, increasing insulin sensitivity and helping control body weight. Keeping fit reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.

Quit smoking: There is nothing that is more important in the prevention of both heart and kidney disease as stopping smoking. Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly.

Avoid taking over-the-counter medications for too long: If you regularly take certain non-prescription pills, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, for a long period of time, you may accidentally damage your kidneys.

World Kidney Day - 14th March

850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes. Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) cause at least 2.4 million deaths per year and are now the 6th fastest growing cause of death. Transplantation is considered the most cost-effective treatment of CKD. However, it has high set up costs with regards to infrastructure and requires highly specialized teams, availability of organ donors and cannot be done without dialysis backup. Physical and legal infrastructure requirements and cultural bias against organ donation often present barriers in many countries, making dialysis the default option.

World Kidney Day is an awareness day that brings global attention to the importance of kidney health. The day aims to highlight the risk factors that can lead to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). World Kidney Day is part of the World Health Organization’s health-related celebrations. World Kidney Day seeks to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys to overall human health and inform the world about ways to prevent kidney disease. In addition, one of the primary goals of the World Kidney Day is to educate the public about the management of CKD and to encourage people to consider kidney donation and transplants as an effective way to help those with kidney failure.

The observance was established in 2006 as a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). It is observed on the second Thursday in March each year. Since the first campaign over twelve years ago, World Kidney Day (WKD) has turned into a global phenomenon. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening. Across the world, celebrations take different forms, from free screenings to Zumba marathons. Past World Kidney Days have seen more than 1000 events in well over 90 countries participating in the World Kidney Day celebrations.

‘Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere’ is the 2019 theme for World Kidney Day, aiming to highlight the growing burden of kidney disease and kidney health disparity and inequity worldwide. On March 14, 2019, medical professionals, government officials, the general public, celebrities and patients will take action locally. This year, World Kidney Day sets out to raise awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and the need for strategies for kidney diseases prevention and management. It calls for universal health coverage (UHC) for prevention and early treatment of kidney disease. The ultimate goal of a UHC policy is to promote population health by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare of high quality, protecting people from health impoverishment and improving equity in health across socioeconomic groups.