A topic that cannot be ignored and definitely cannot be neglected! Second Thursday of March every year and this year 11th March 2021, marks world kidney day.
Kidney disease is a non-communicable disease. Being diagnosed with kidney disease is not only a huge challenge for patients but also their caretakers and people around them.
What is it and what happens in it?
The function of the kidney:
The kidney is one of a pair of organs in the abdomen. The job of the kidney is to remove waste and extra water from the blood as urine. It also helps in keeping a chemical balanced body such as – Calcium, Potassium and Sodium. They also make hormones that help control blood pressure and stimulate the bone marrow to make red blood cells.
What is chronic kidney disease?
It means a gradual loss of kidney function. Kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from one’s blood, which are then excreted as a form of urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in one’s body.
The main objective is to slow down the process of kidney failure which is usually done by controlling the underlying cause. The end-stage of chronic kidney disease is kidney failure which is fatal without artificial dialysis or a kidney transplant.
1. Swelling of feet and ankles
2. Decreased mental sharpness
4. Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
6. Loss of appetite
7. Fatigue and weakness
8. Sleep problems
9. Changes in how much you urinate
10. Muscle twitches and cramps
11. Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
12. Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
13. High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control
14. Persistent itching
One thing has to be noted, these signs will only appear when irreversible damage has happened.
Diseases that cause chronic kidney disease may include-
○High blood pressure
○Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
○Polycystic kidney disease
○Glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units (glomeruli)
○Recurrent kidney infection also called pyelonephritis
○Interstitial nephritis, an inflammation of the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures
○Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys
Some factors that may increase the risk of having chronic kidney disease may include-
- Family history of kidney disease
- Older age
- High blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
- Abnormal kidney structure
- Not smoking – Smoking is definitely not good for your health. The main part of our body which it causes damage to is the kidney.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Reducing calories and maintain a healthy weight can do wonders in kidney problems.
- Take medication – Without regular medication, treatment would be impossible.
-Kidney disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the US and fifteen per cent of us 37,000,000 people have chronic kidney disease. The condition is so intense that one out of every two people in the US don’t even know that they have chronic kidney disease!
-In 2019, 5 people died every week waiting for a kidney transplant
-The average wait for a kidney is 3 years
About the day and what it is:
World kidney day is one of the most important global campaigns. Major objectives-
1) To raise awareness of the importance of kidneys to our health
2) Reduce the impact of kidney disease
3) Reduce the associated health problems worldwide related to kidney disease.
One in ten people is affected by kidney disease globally.
World Kidney Day or WKD is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
This year’s theme for World Kidney day is ” Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere “.
World Kidney Day 2019 theme:
Its aim was prevention and early treatment of kidney disease by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare for which it calls for UHC or Universal Health Coverage.
Some basic rules or concrete measures must be set in every country to ensure the safety of the kidney. Some of the measures to improve kidney care by NHP (National Health Portal), India are-
- Encouraging and adopting a healthy lifestyle for kidney disease to be prevented, delayed or kept under control.
- Make screening for kidney diseases a primary healthcare intervention.
- Call for transparent policies enabling easy access to dialysis and transplantation.
- Ensure patients suffering from kidney diseases get basic health care services according to their necessity without suffering from financial hardship.
- Due to various causes, almost 850 million people worldwide are estimated to have kidney diseases
- Around 1.7 million people are estimated to die every year because of acute kidney injury or AKI globally.
- Chronic Kidney disease is the 6th fastest-growing cause of death.
2021 theme for World Kidney Day:
“Living Well with Kidney Disease”
This is done in order to increase education and awareness about effective symptom management and patient empowerment, with the ultimate goal of encouraging life participation.