Today, 13 March 2013, is World Kidney Day, a day which “aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.” Every year the day has a unique theme, and this year it’s “Kidneys for Life – Stop Kidney Attack.”
The main role of the kidneys is to remove toxins from the blood. It also helps control blood pressure, produces red blood cells and helps control blood acidity. Unfortunately, the incidence of chronic kidney disease, and other kidney-related diseases, is increasing significantly around the world, placing huge added pressure on already stretched health systems. It is estimated that between 8 and 10% of all adults have a notable level of kidney damage, with the impact of this ranging from loss of productivity to premature death.
The important message on World Kidney Day is that there are things we can do to reduce the risk of kidney disease. Focus is placed on 8 golden rules of kidney care:
- Keep fit and active.
- Control your blood sugar levels.
- Monitor your blood pressure.
- Eat healthy and avoid obesity.
- Maintain a healthy fluid intake.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid excessive over-the-counter medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Finally, if your habits related to points (1) to (7) above place you at risk, get your kidney-functions checked on a regular basis.
Be aware of kidney-health, and take action before it’s too late – it might just save your life!