World Kidney Day: a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys.
A day to raise awareness
Launched at the initiative of the International Society of Nephrology, World Kidney Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of kidney disease, a silent condition whose late diagnosis multiplies the consequences. It is often the case that many of them are only detected at the approach of the terminal stage and, in this case, the use of dialysis or grafting is made compulsory.
Our current lifestyles, unbalanced diet, sedentary lifestyle, are aggravating factors and the increase in the number of patients suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure, causes “mechanically” an increase of the cases of renal insufficiency.
Today, 500 million people worldwide, suffer from kidney disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure in adults. In children and young people, it is most often genetic kidney disease or glomerulonephritis. The progression of kidney disease can lead in some cases to dialysis or transplantation. The treatment of kidney disease represents a very heavy financial burden each year. Only effective treatment can slow the progression of the disease, and reduce its cost both humanly and economically.
More than 500 million people worldwide, nearly one in ten adults, suffer from kidney disease and several million die prematurely each year from cardiovascular complications related to chronic kidney disease (CKD). In developed countries, the number of people requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation is expected to double in the next decade. This is largely due to the very significant increase in the incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure, the main causes of CKD. In developing countries, the majority of people cannot benefit from dialysis and transplantation for financial reasons. Efforts must, therefore, go towards prevention.
The “World Kidney Day” was initiated in 2006 at the initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). It takes place every year on the 2nd Thursday of March and was celebrated this year on March 14th.
This day aims to draw the attention of people, health professionals and policymakers to the scourge of kidney disease, the current opportunities for screening, diagnosis, and treatment. The goal is to limit the ever-increasing number of patients with CKD and all its socio-economic consequences.
According to the World Kidney Day website, socio-economic and cultural factors also contribute to a burden beyond the proportions of kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease affects 195 million women worldwide and is currently the 8th leading cause of death among women. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 10% of the world’s population is affected by chronic kidney disease and millions of people die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment. More than 2 million people worldwide are currently receiving dialysis or kidney transplant treatment to stay alive. In people aged 65 to 74 worldwide, it is estimated that more than one in five men and one in four women have chronic kidney disease. With early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to slow down or even stop the progression of kidney disease.
How to Celebrate?
Of course, the perfect way to celebrate this day is to be healthy and take care of your Kidney.
Have a balanced diet and limit salt
Eating in a balanced way helps to avoid overweight. Obesity is a factor that promotes kidney disease. In addition, salt causes hypertension, an enemy of the kidney. It is therefore strongly advised to limit the consumption of industrial dishes that are often too salty and not to very or very little salt. It is better to opt for fresh rather than frozen products.
Nephrologists also recommend reducing their consumption of meat, fish, and eggs. Excess protein “tires” the kidney and eventually the abyss. Beware of hyper-protein diets!
Fight against a sedentary lifestyle
To preserve your kidneys, it is essential to practice a sporting activity. France Rein advocates avoiding to stay 48 hours without practicing physical activity. It allows, whatever the age, to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, but also obesity.
Drink enough water
We must drink the quantity of water adapted to our needs. On average, we should drink at least 1.5 liters a day spread over the day. Drinking water makes it easier for the kidneys to work, filtering the blood and evacuating body waste through the urine.
Tobacco causes the deterioration of renal function. This is one of the risk factors for developing kidney disease.
Beware of toxic substances
France Rein does not recommend self-medication. Used in high doses or in the long term, aspirin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, may be toxic to the kidney same thing for laxatives and diuretics. We must also avoid herbs called “caregivers”, dietary supplements and more generally any product whose composition is not clearly identified.
Renal diseases are called “silent”. They do not manifest themselves by any perceptible symptom. So it’s strongly recommend getting tested, especially when you are affected by diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease or autoimmune disease.
This year’s theme is Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere. It’s a day of awareness raising and promoting good care of your health and illness.