March is Kidney Awareness Month and March 10th is World Kidney Day. This day is dedicated to raising awareness of kidney disease and the importance of its prevention and early detection. Early detection is important to control further damage to the kidney.
It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 26 million United States (U.S.) adults in 2000 had chronic kidney disease and most of them were not aware of their condition. It is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S., responsible for the death of more than 48,000 people in 2008. Kidney disease often develops slowly and with few symptoms. Many people with the condition do not realize they are sick until the disease is advanced or requires dialysis.
The kidneys are vital organs in your body that are considered the “clean sweep”. They clear your body of waste and excess fluid. Your body has two kidneys that are about the size of your fist that are located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage.
Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, inflammation of the kidneys---nephritis, polycystic kidney disease, overloading on certain medications, infection and injury can cause damage to the kidney tissue and cause kidney disease. Treatment depends on the cause of damage and can range from medication, dialysis to kidney transplant.
Prevention of kidney disease includes getting your blood pressure checked regularly; normal blood pressure promotes kidney health. Look at your urine, if it becomes cloudy, smelly or foamy contact your physician. Drink lots of water, water helps to clean your kidneys. Staying active is an important component to health and subsequently healthy kidneys. It is important to get the blood pumping to help your kidneys function normally as well as reduce your risk for other diseases. Kidney disease is preventable but it requires you to live a healthy lifestyle and to take care of yourself. Eating healthier and getting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week is an important step in preventing this disease.
Every new day is another chance to change your life---author unknown
Consult with your physician before starting a diet or exercise program.