World Kidney Day 2018 – Simple Steps for Healthy Kidneys

World Kidney Day is observed each year to raise global awareness about the importance of kidneys and encourage preventive behavior to reduce the proliferation of kidney associated diseases. The theme for World Kidney Day 2018 is “Kidneys and Women’s health. Include, Value, Empower”.  Chronic Kidney disease is considered as one of the most prevalent silent killers impacting more than 195 million women globally. The statistics for kidney disease in India are alarming with 17.2% of the urban population suffering from some form of kidney disease. Certain lifestyle choices and health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity as well as having a family history of kidney disease increase the chances of developing chronic kidney disease. Kidneys are vital organs that regulate the level of fluids, filter wastes, and toxins, maintaining the hormonal balance as well as the balance of blood minerals. To take care of your kidneys, we can follow some simple steps that are highlighted below;
  1. Take care of your diet - Reducing salt intake and including fresh produce in your diet can be of paramount importance when it comes to kidney health. Intake of a healthy, well-balanced diet lowers the risk of developing chronic kidney disease(CKD).
  1. Exercise regularly - Exercise is good for physical and mental wellbeing. A 30-minute daily workout that may include swimming, walking or other moderate physical activity helps in maintaining the health of kidneys.
  1. Quit Smoking - Smoking has harmful effects on overall health, including the health of your kidneys. It slows the flow of blood to kidneys thereby increasing the risk of developing kidney cancer and Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD). Therefore, it is vital to give up on smoking or minimize it in order to maintain the proper functioning of kidneys.
  1. Limit Alcohol Consumption - Alcohol has been linked with an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the key contributing factors in developing and advancing kidney disease. Alcohol also leads to dehydration which can affect the functioning of the kidney to maintain adequate bodily fluids.
  1. Stay Hydrated- Drinking adequate water is essential to ensure that toxins are flushed out from the body effectively. Additionally, sufficient hydration also prevents conditions such as kidney stones and Urinary Tract Infections.
Furthermore, it is imperative to get screened for any kidney associated diseases routinely if you fall under the high-risk category – that is, if you have pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes that can affect your kidneys. We sometimes tend to take the functioning of our kidneys for granted and neglect their health. However, some kidney diseases are “Silent Killers” as their symptoms aren’t evidently suggestive of kidney-related problems during initial diagnosis because those symptoms can be indicative of a wide range of other diseases. It is hence important to act proactively when it comes to the health of the kidneys.