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World Kidney Day

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 12/03/2015

Today is World Kidney Day which is organised by the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations.

Kidney Disease

The aim is raise to awareness of the disease and to encourage ways to prevent kidney disease. The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high, poorly controlled blood glucose levels and/or high blood pressure can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels that supply the kidneys.

The risk of developing Type II diabetes can be reduced by making these 5 changes to your diet and lifestyle:

  1. Losing weight will drastically reduce your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes
  2. Increase your exercise levels
  3. Stop smoking as this is proven to increase blood pressure levels, which are known to be a major cause of diabetes
  4. Eat healthily to reduce cholesterol levels
  5. Reduce alcohol intake. Heavy alcohol intake can lead to conditions such as chronic pancreatitis, which has a side effect of diabetes

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. Having high blood pressure means that higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Over time, this extra strain increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke and can also cause heart and chronic kidney disease, and is closely linked to some forms of dementia.

High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.

Several factors which contribute to the development of high blood pressure are:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Too much salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress

You can help to lower your blood pressure - and your risk of stroke and heart attack by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Kidneys

Kidneys are important because they:

  • Prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body by making urine
  • Regulate the amount of fluid and various salts in the body, such as sodium, potassium and phosphate, which helps to control blood pressure
  • Make red blood cells and hormones that help regulate blood pressure

The earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing or stopping its progression.

When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.



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