Kidney Health For All By Dr. Megha Nataraj (PT)

Kidney illnesses are silent killers that have a significant impact on our quality of life. The World Kidney Day Joint Steering Committee has declared 2023 to be the year of "Kidney Health for All." The World Kidney Day (WKD) is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology  (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).

The World Kidney Day (WKD) was started in 2006 and since then each year, kidney health and awareness is celebrated annually in the month of March. Over the years, several important themes addressing kidney health concepts have been promoted. 

The theme for World Kidney Day 2023 is, “Preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable”.

• 2023 Kidney Health for All – Preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable
• 2022 Kidney Health for All – Bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney care
• 2021 Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere – Living Well with Kidney Disease
• 2020 Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere – from Prevention to Detection and Equitable Access to Care
• 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 8 golden rules given by the International Society of Nephrology  (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) will be discussed hereafter.

Q1) Why kidney health matters? 

Kidneys are a pair of organs that work together to keep us healthy. Our kidneys assist in the removal of waste from the body, the maintenance of bodily fluid levels, the maintenance of blood pressure, the maintenance of strong and healthy bones, and the production of red blood cells for the body.

Q2) What factors affect normal kidney function? 

The way our kidneys work is influenced by a variety of things. Kidney dysfunction can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lipid levels, changes in hormone levels, old age, diabetes mellitus, increased body fat, and so on.

Q3) How is kidney function checked by a doctor? 

The levels of creatinine, urea, and sugar in your blood will be checked by your general physician/endocrinologist/nephrologists. They'll also look at how much creatinine and protein are being excreted in the urine. These tests will provide your doctor with information about how well your kidneys are working. If you need further information, your doctor may recommend that you get a biopsy done (where a small part of your kidney tissue will be taken out and checked for any faults).

Q4) What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)? 

The inability of our kidneys to filter the blood leads to kidney function deterioration. As a result, waste products begin to accumulate in the blood, which increases metabolic wastes deposition in the body and ultimately causes chronic kidney disease (CKD). If this condition is undiagnosed or untreated at the initial stages, the kidneys begin to fail and develop End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) also called Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). This situation is treated through dialysis procedure or kidney transplantation both of which are costly procedures.

Q5) Is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) dangerous? 

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common and serious disease that affects one out of every ten persons worldwide and can be fatal if not addressed. By 2040, chronic kidney disease is anticipated to be the fifth greatest cause of mortality.

Q6) Can diabetes causes chronic kidney disease (CKD)? 

Yes. Diabetes mellitus is one of the causative factors for chronic kidney disease worldwide. This condition is called Diabetic Kidney Disease or Diabetic Nephropathy. 

Q7) Is it important to take medicines for kidney problem? 

It is critical that you take your doctor-prescribed medications to maintain your kidney health. Consuming self-medications without appropriate doctor prescription must be strictly avoided as it can be detrimental to an individual’s health. This can also endanger the kidneys, thereby increasing the risk of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Chronic Renal Failure (CRF).

Keep Fit, Stay Active: Maintaining a healthy body weight helps to lower blood pressure which reduces risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Eat a healthy diet:  The intake of salt must be restricted to 5-6 gram/day. Processed & restaurant foods must be avoided. Freshly cooked home food must be consumed.

Control blood sugar: About half of diabetic individuals are unaware of having the condition. As a result, you should check your blood sugar level as part of your regular physical examination. This is especially crucial for persons reaching or past middle age. Kidney disease affects around half of all diabetics, but it can be avoided or restricted if the diabetes is adequately managed. 

Control blood pressure:  Approximately half of people with high blood pressure are unaware of their condition. As a result, you should monitor your blood pressure as part of your regular physical examination. This is especially crucial for persons reaching or past middle age. Your kidneys might be harmed by high blood pressure. With appropriate blood pressure control, the danger can be lowered. 

Have optimal fluid intake: Exercise, environment, health problems, pregnancy, and nursing all play a role in determining the appropriate fluid consumption for everyone. For a healthy person living in a comfortable environment, this equates to 8 cups, or around 2 litres (quarts) every day. When the weather is bad, this needs to be modified. If you have kidney, heart, or liver illness, you may need to alter your fluid consumption. Consult your doctor about how much fluid you should drink based on your situation.

Refrain from smoking: The passage of blood to the kidneys is slowed by smoking. When the kidneys receive less blood, their capacity to operate normally is harmed. In addition, smoking raises the risk of kidney cancer by around 50%. 

Refrain from consuming over the counter anti-inflammatory & pain killer medications: If taken on a frequent basis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS) and pain relievers (e.g., ibuprofen) can affect the kidneys. Taking just a few dosages can injure your kidneys if you have kidney disease or impaired kidney function. If you're unsure, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Get a regular kidney health check-up: In the presence of any risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or a family history of kidney disease you must visit your hospital or doctor for a routine health check-up.




Please enter first name