Today is World Kidney Day, a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
Since 2006, World Kidney Day has been raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health. For example, did you know that it’s our kidneys’ job to remove toxins and excess water from the body? Or that these two organs – roughly the size of a fist each – help regulate our blood pressure, blood cell production and bone health?
It’s no wonder then that humans can’t survive without kidneys, which brings us to this year’s World Kidney Day theme: the need for life-saving organ donations and kidney transplants. Without them, those with chronic kidney disease who progress to complete kidney failure (aka end stage renal disease) have a bleak prognosis. Unfortunately, the need for transplantation is growing worldwide due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure, the main causes of kidney disease.
As a result, prevention is inextricably linked to being healthy in general: maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and eating right. Here in the US – where approximately 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, and millions more are at risk – the National Kidney Foundation has launched a campaign featuring legendary restaurateur B. Smith. Check out the video below to learn about the risk factors for kidney disease and how you can reduce them with simple actions such as reducing salt and fat intake, quitting smoking and replacing soda with water.
Are you living with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease? Connect with others like you to share experiences, support and advice. At PatientsLikeMe, we have 2,700+ patients with hypertension, 2,700+ patients with type 2 diabetes and 300+ patients with chronic kidney disease. In addition, 1,900+ members have undergone – or are awaiting – a kidney transplant, while 50+ others are on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Add your own story and gain insight from this wealth of real-world knowledge.