Today, March 12th is World Kidney Day, a day dedicated to kidney health. While we recognize World Kidney Day just once a year, the everyday decisions you make about what you eat, how much (or little!) you exercise, and the care you take in managing other health conditions can affect the health and well-being of your kidneys.
Kidneys are your body’s filtration system. They eliminate toxins and excess water from your blood and acids produced by your body’s cells, helping maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals. Kidneys also produce hormones that control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep bones healthy and strong.
Keeping your kidneys healthy helps your heart to stay healthy too, and vice versa. This symbiotic relationship between these two vital organs is perhaps why just last month, we celebrated heart health.
At Healthmap Solutions, every day is kidney day (it’s not just our job, it’s our purpose!), and we encourage you to take a few simple steps to make every day a good day for your kidneys. Here’s how:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get regular exercise.
- Be involved in your healthcare. Openly and actively communicate and collaborate with your doctors on your care and treatment.
- If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, follow the care plan you and your healthcare team have put in place to manage these conditions. Having one or both of these chronic conditions puts you at risk for developing kidney disease.
- Know your risks for developing kidney disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- Women are more likely than men to develop Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). But for every two women who develop End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), the more serious disease state which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive, three men are diagnosed with ESRD.
- People of color are more at risk for CKD than whites, and ESRD disproportionately affects people of color. Blacks are three times more likely to develop ESRD than whites, and for every three non-Hispanics who develop ESRD, four Hispanics are diagnosed with the condition.
- Make checking up on your kidney health part of your annual health check-up. Simple blood and urine tests can tell you what you need to know about your kidney health.
Your kidneys will thank you!