World Kidney DayWorld Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. World Kidney Day is observed annually on the 2nd Thursday in March. At the start of this holiday, 66 countries observed this date in 2006. Within two years, this number rose to 88. World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
Obesity and its harmful consequences on kidneyObesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation and it is a potent risk factor for the development of kidney disease. It increases the possibility of diabetes and hypertension, major risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). In obese individuals, the kidneys have to work harder, filtering more blood than normal to meet the metabolic demands of the higher body weight. This can damage the kidney and raise the risk of developing CKD. The good news is that obesity, as well as CKD, is largely preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
8 golden rules for kidney healthAccording to worldkidneyday.org, there are 8 golden rules for kidney health. Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.
- Physical activity. It is known fact that a person who is physically active helps him/her in many ways like it promotes weight loss, positive thinking and also helps in maintaining your kidneys healthy.
- Monitor your blood sugar. Majority of the people with Diabetes will lead to kidney damage. Monitoring your blood sugar levels and keeping it under control will reduce the kidney damage and it can also be prevented if it is detected early.
- Monitor your blood pressure. Apart from a heart attack and stroke high blood pressure can also lead to kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 139/89, you are considered prehypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardio-Vascular Diseases.
- Proper diet. This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease. Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). Prefer freshly prepared home food than processed and restaurant food will help in controlling salt in your diet
- Proper hydration. Keeping hydrated is good for your skin as well as your kidneys. Drinking enough water flushes the sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease. It’s important to keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors including gender, exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy and breastfeeding. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.
- No Smoking! Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
- Avoid regular over the counter medicines. Common drugs such as NSAIDs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly. Such medications probably do not pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use them for emergencies only, but if you are dealing with chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain, discuss with your doctor to find a way to control your pain without putting your kidneys at risk.
- Regular check up of kidneys if you have one or more of the ‘high risk’ factors like if you have diabetes, hypertension, obesity, family history of kidney disease.