Why you should celebrate World Kidney Day
In March, we celebrate World Kidney Day (WKD), a day dedicated to raising awareness around kidney diseases and its impact on our lives. People around the globe celebrate this day in different ways, from fun runs to public screenings and talks at schools.
A bit of background history
Being such a global hit, one would think this day was instated years and years ago; it wasn’t. This day only started in 2006 and hasn’t stopped growing since. Each year, the day is celebrated around a specific theme.
Here are a couple of examples of previous campaigns:
2015 Kidney Health for All
2014 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and aging
2013 Kidneys for Life – Stop Kidney Attack!
What is 2016’s campaign all about?
This year’s theme is centred around; Kidney Disease and Children. Act Early to Prevent It! This year we are highlighting the impact kidney diseases has on children and how to prevent it.
“It is therefore crucial that we encourage and facilitate education, early detection and a healthy lifestyle in children, starting at birth and continuing through to old age, to combat the increase of preventable kidney damage including acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease and to treat children with inborn and acquired disorders of the kidney.” – The World Kidney Day Team – Taken from the World Kidney Day official website.
How to detect kidney disease at an early stage
Unlike other diseases, kidney disease shows little to no symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. It is therefore important that we make ourselves aware of the risks and keep our kidneys healthy.
Common symptoms include:
- Change in the frequency and amount you urinate, especially at night.
- Foaming urine.
- Blood in the urine.
- Any discomfort or burning when urinating.
- Back pain situated beneath the lower ribs.
- Puffiness around the eyes and ankles.
Are you at risk of kidney disease? Ask yourself these questions first…
Do you have diabetes?
Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
Do you have a family history of kidney failure?
Are you suffering from heart disease?
Do you smoke?
If you answered yes to most of these questions and are experiencing some of the above mentioned symptoms, we would advise you to see your doctor and do one of the following two tests:
GFR: A GFR (glomerular filtration rate) blood test, measures how much blood your kidneys filter each minute. A GFR of 60 or higher is normal. However, if your GFR falls below 60 then you may have kidney disease. You can’t raise your GFR but you can prevent it from going lower.
Urine Protein: This urine test checks for protein in your urine which is seen as a sign of kidney disease. See, when your kidneys filters are damaged protein leaks into your urine. This test is also known as a “urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio” test.
How to take care of your kidneys
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Go for regular tests.
- Keep your cholesterol levels low.
- Lower your salt intake.
- Do not drink too much alcohol.
- Get regular exercise and stay active.
- Keep your body weight at a healthy level. If you see you are getting a bit overweight, take action.
- Smoking is best avoided.
Healthy food for a Healthy Kidney:
- Red bell peppers
- Olive Oil
- Red Grapes
- Egg Whites
Super Smoothie recipe for your Kidneys!
Mix the following ingredients in a blender and enjoy:
1 Cup of Cranberries
Handful of parsley
1 Stalk of Celery
½ a cucumber
Click here for more delicious smoothy recipes.
Would you like to get involved in the World Kidney Day campaign? Click here for more information.
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