On World Kidney Day 2021: Know More About Your Kidneys

World Kidney Day is a global campaign directed at building awareness about the significance of the kidneys in our bodies.

Every year hundreds of events take place across the globe, such as Zumba marathons in Malaysia, public screenings in Argentina.
World Kidney Day is a collective initiative of the ISN ( International Society of Nephrology)& IFKF (International Federation of Kidney Foundations) to create awareness about preventive behaviors, risk factors, and living with kidney disease.

The theme for World Kidney Day 2021 is acknowledged as the year of “Living Well with Kidney Disease.”
With that spirit, let’s learn more about the Kidneys and their importance.

Know The Functioning Of Kidneys In Your Body

Kidneys are two (bean-shaped) organs resided in the lower back area of your body.
For your body to work the way it should,
you need at least one healthy kidney to keep your body well-functioning.
The kidneys’ most critical job is to filter the blood and excrete the waste, and returning hormones, vitamins, glucose, amino acids, and other vital elements into the bloodstream.
If your kidneys don’t work adequately, they can’t filter out the waste from your body.
If your kidneys cease functioning, known as kidney failure, you will require regular dialysis or a kidney transplant to live.

Recognize If You Are At Risk For Kidney Disease:

Kidney disease can affect anyone, but some people are at higher risk. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or both conditions, you are at a much higher risk for kidney disease.

Other risk factors:

  • Heart diseases
  • Some ethnicities have a proportionally higher rate of Kidney disease diagnoses
  • If kidney disease is hereditary in your family
  • Age over 60
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Five things to know about kidney disease:

  • People with high blood pressure and diabetes are at the most risk of Kidney Disease
  • There are no symptoms in earlier stages
  • Kidney disease means irreversible damage to the kidneys
  • If kidney disease is diagnosed early, you and can take action to keep it from getting severe
  • The only method to identify if you have kidney disease is to get blood and urine tests
  • Know your blood sugar level :

    Diabetes can cause blindness or loss of a limb. It’s also vital to know that diabetes can also cause kidney disease.
    The statistics state that almost half of all kidney failures occur because of diabetes.
    Diabetes can get severe over time because it can cause your kidneys to stop functioning.
    If your kidneys don’t work adequately, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
    If you have diabetes, you have to be extra careful about keeping your blood sugar under control and taking care of yourself. Ask your physician about preventive measures that may help you with keeping your body healthy.

    Know how well your kidneys are working:

    Anybody can get kidney disease at any time of their life. Still, if kidney disease is diagnosed in its initial stages and you get the proper treatment, you can help moderate or even prevent it from getting more serious.
    Most people with kidney disease do not have symptoms in the earlier stages. That is why it is essential to be tested.
    Your kidney numbers include two tests: Albumin to Creatinine Ratio (ACR) and Glomerular filtration rate(GFR).
    GFR is a standard measurement of kidney functioning and is administered through a blood test.
    Your GFR will conclude what kidney disease stage you have.
    ACR is determined through a urine test to see how much albumin (protein) is present in your urine. An excess quantity of albumin in your urine is a sign of kidney damage.

    Urine Test called ACR (albumin-to-creatinine ratio):

    • During ACR, your urine is tested for albumin. Albumin is a protein that your body needs, but it should be in the blood, not the urine.
    • The considerable presence of albumin in your urine means that your kidneys are not filtering your blood adequately. This can be a warning of kidney disease.
    • If your urine test comes back “positive,” then it should be repeated to verify affirmatively. Three positive results over a period of three months are a sign that you have kidney disease.
    • Blood Test to estimate your GFR. Your blood will be tested for creatinine. Creatinine emanates from muscle tissue. When the kidneys are damaged, they have difficulty discarding creatinine from your blood.
    • Creatinine testing is only the primary step. Next, your creatinine test results are used in a math equation to ascertain your glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
    • Your GFR number tells your physician how well your kidneys are functioning.
    • Good health brings a spark to your life:

      Being diagnosed with kidney disease can cause immense stress to the patients and their families. It can limit the person’s ability to work, travel, or even doing their daily activities is a hassle.
      Kidney disease can cause numerous problematic side effects – such as depression, cognitive impairment, fatigue, pain, and gastrointestinal problems.

      Most people with kidney disease do not even notice it until it gets worse.
      One of the reasons for this is that sometimes symptoms won’t show until the disease gets severe.
      Apprehending the cause of kidney disease and knowing what actions to take to prevent it can immensely help you live a long healthy life.

      Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors