World Kidney Day (WKD) is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of kidneys. World Kidney Day is observed annually on the second Thursday in March.
The World Kidney Day started in 2006. Every year, the campaign highlights a particular theme.
2019: Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere
2018: Kidneys & Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower
2017: Kidney Disease & Obesity - Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys
2016: Kidney Disease & Children - Act Early to Prevent It!
2015: Kidney Health for All
2014: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and aging
2013: Kidneys for Life - Stop Kidney Attack!
2012: Donate - Kidneys for Life - Receive
2011: Protect your kidneys: Save your heart
2010: Protect your kidneys: Control diabetes
2009: Protect your kidneys: Keep your pressure down
2008: Your amazing kidneys!
2007: CKD: Common, harmful and treatable
2006: Are your kidneys OK?
The kidneys are complicated and amazing organs that do many essential tasks to keep us healthy. The main job of kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from the blood. Kidneys also help to control blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep bones healthy.
Kidneys are located deep in the abdomen, beneath the rib cage. The kidneys control blood stream levels of many minerals and molecules including sodium and potassium, and help to control blood acidity. Every day, kidneys carefully control the salt and water in your body so that the blood pressure remains the same.
1. Keep fit and active
Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
The concept "on the move for kidney health" is a worldwide collective march involving the public, celebrities and professionals moving across a public area by walking, running and cycling.
2. Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions. Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early.
3. Monitor your blood pressure
Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 139/89, you are considered prehypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes.
At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and montior your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardio-Vascular Diseases.
4. Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease.
Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh ingredients.
5. Maintain a healthy fluid intake
Although clinical studies have not reached an agreement on the ideal quantity of water and other fluids we should consume daily to maintain good health, traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day.
Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
6. Do not smoke
Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
7. Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.