World Kidney Day is observed every second Thursday annually, around the world. The aim is to raise awareness about the role of our kidneys in our wellbeing and kidney-related health issues.

The Role of Kidneys

The role of the kidneys is to filter blood. The blood that has been filtered is returned to the body. Waste is converted to urine, which gathers in the kidney’s pelvis, forming a funnel-shaped structure that flows to the bladder through a tube called the ureter. In summary, kidneys:

  • Eliminate waste
  • Maintain the body’s fluid balance and
  • Maintain proper electrolyte levels.

Several times a day, all of the blood in the body flows through them.

Read: The Checkup Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 1, 2nd. Edition, January 2021

Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious condition affecting a large percentage of the population worldwide. Often overlooked until symptoms appear, CKD is progressive and can put one at risk for serious health complications including kidney failure. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help an individual to manage and slow the progression of CKD and its complications.

Follow these healthy lifestyle tips to take charge of your kidney health.

  1. Regular screening Includes testing the urine for protein and the blood for serum creatinine to estimate glomerular filtration rate in order to establish decreased kidney function
  2. Manage blood pressure and monitor blood glucose levels. It is important to check your blood glucose level regularly if you have diabetes.
  3. Take medicine as prescribed and avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen. Your pharmacist and doctor need to know about all the medicines you take.
  4. Aim for a healthy weight: Consider working with your doctor to develop a weight-loss plan that works for you.
  5. Reduce stress and make physical activity part of your routine. Consider healthy stress-reducing activities and get at least 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
  6. Make time for sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
  7. Quit smoking. If you smoke, take steps to quit.

See also: COMING SOON: An Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC)

The State of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease has become a serious Public Health issue both in developing and developed countries. There are currently over 1.4 million patients receiving renal replacement therapy worldwide. One way to reduce the economic burden of chronic kidney disease would be early intervention.

In order to achieve this as we commemorate this year’s (2021) theme, “Living Well with Kidney Disease.” we should be able to identify individuals with increased risk of renal disease.

Risk Factors for Kidney Disease

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the biggest factors that increase the risk for kidney disease and the number one cause of kidney failure. It causes an individual’s body to have trouble making or using insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body turn the sugar you eat into energy. When the body doesn’t use insulin the right way, too much sugar stays in the blood, which can lead to chronic kidney disease over time.

  1. Hypertension

The second leading cause of kidney failure is high blood pressure. High blood pressure indicates that the heart is pumping blood too hard. Blood flowing too quickly through the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys can cause damage to them. Chronic kidney disease may develop as a result of this.

As we commemorate the 2021 World Kidney Day, it is also important to mention how the Covid -19 pandemic has badly impacted kidney patients with many having to shield at home for the past year. It has also led to more people with otherwise healthy kidneys to develop problems – serious Covid-19 infections can lead to acute kidney injury. Never was there a more important time to act.

 

Article written by:

Felix Karani- Public Health Officer

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