World Kidney Day 2019 is observed on March 14, 2019. It is observed every year on the second Thursday of March as a global health awareness campaign with an aim to shed light on the importance of the kidneys. Notably, it is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
The Theme of World Kidney Day 2019
The theme of World Kidney Day 2019 is “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere.”
The aforementioned theme calls for a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for prevention and early treatment of kidney disease. The ultimate goal of UHC is to promote population health by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare of high quality.
The World Kidney Day 2019 is observed all across the world with numerous events taking place from public screenings in Argentina to Zumba marathons in Malaysia.
World Kidney Day 2019 is an awareness campaign for creating awareness about preventive behaviour, about risk factors and about how to live with kidney diseases.
About Kidney-related Diseases
Shaped like beans, kidneys play a pivotal role in filtering blood, removing waste matter via urine, producing hormones, balancing minerals and maintaining fluid balance.
Notably, over 850 million worldwide kidney diseases are caused due to factors like uncontrolled Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Alcoholism, Heart Disease, Hepatitis C virus and HIV among several others. While there are certain foods which aid in keeping the kidney function smoothly and renders it strong, there are other food products abetting it, particularly when you already suffer from a kidney disease.
What are Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKDs)?
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a hidden epidemic which reportedly affects millions of people globally.
- Notably, CKD is the sixth deadliest disease worldwide causing 2.4 million deaths per year.
- CKD ranks as the eighth leading cause of death in India.
- The prevalence of Chronic Kidney Diseases have almost doubled over the past decade. It is expected to increase further due to a rise observed in risk factors like Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, stressful lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits.
- Around 2.3 to 7.1 million pre-mature deaths occur every year globally due to lack of access to dialysis and transplantation caused by insufficient resources.
- Every year over 100 patients are diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) in India.
- Notably, Chronic Kidney Diseases can affect anyone irrespective of age or gender.
World Kidney Day 2019: Major Risk Factors and their Prevention
The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) highlight that Diabetes, Obesity and high blood pressure are key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKDs).
Kidney failure is commonly referred to as a ‘silent condition.’ The most common symptoms of kidney ailments are shortness of breath, fatigue and fluid retention. This proves that the kidney function has already fallen to 25% or less.
The best way to avoid failure of vital organs such as kidneys is to adopt a healthy lifestyle and consume healthy diet with limited salt intake.
Given below are some tips you should follow to avoid kidney-related diseases:
- Eating responsibly: Doctors claim that eating responsibly by controlling intake of fatty foods in the diet can be the first baby step towards a healthier kidney and heart. One must also avoid intake of fizzy drinks besides excess consumption of salt, which are other lifestyle factors attributed to kidney diseases. SN and IFKF suggest that the daily salt intake should be reduced to 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon).
- Proper water intake:This is the most commonly doled out health advice in general. However, one cannoppot stress the importance of water for human body enough. Since kidneys aid in flushing out harmful toxins from the body by diluting them with water, the more the water intake, the better the body will overall function. Consuming plenty of fluids will help clear the kidneys of sodium, urea and other toxins from the body, which in turn results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney diseases. Traditional wisdom has suggest drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water every day.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. Therefore, when less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50%.
- Avoiding over-consumption of drugs: Common drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs viz; ibuprofen are known to cause kidney diseases, if consumed regularly. Therefore, one must be careful wehn popping any kind of pills to relieve a recurring pain and instead consult a doctor to find a way to relieve your ailment without putting your kidneys at stake.
- Prevention is better than cure: Last but not least, it is always advisable to keep your health a priority and in check. Therefore, the importance of systematic and regular health screening cannot be undermined. ISN and IFKF guidelines suggest regular screening when:
- you are suffering from Diabetes
- from Hypertension
- from Obesity
- one of your parents or other family members suffer from kidney diseases
- if you are of African, Asian, or Aboriginal origin.
Boerhavia Diffusa: Herb for decaying Kidneys
As per Ayurvedic claims, the Boerhavia Diffusa (BD) is a plant herb possessing anti-ageing, disease prevention, and life strengthening traits.
It is commonly found in tropical forests, wastelands and agricultural fields as a weed, and helps relieve one from the back pain occurring due to the presence of stones in the kidneys.