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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

World Kidney Day – Kidney Health for All

<p>​World Kidney Day is a global campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to the overall health of our body. The campaign aims to educate on potential risk factors for kidney disease and encourage preventive behaviors to help us care for our kidneys so they can continue taking care of us.
</p><p><strong>What do your kidneys do?</strong></p><p>Your two kidneys, each about the size of your fist, are the natural filter system of your body. Their main responsibility is to remove waste, toxins, and extra fluid from your blood, allowing your body to sustain a good chemical balance, control blood pressure, manage anemia, and maintain strong bones. The removed waste and extra fluid turn into urine, which is then stored in the bladder until you go to the bathroom.  
</p><p>When the kidneys are damaged, they are unable to effectively filter blood. This can lead to a build-up of waste in your body, which consequently results in various health problems. </p><p><strong>What is chronic kidney disease?</strong></p><p>Chronic kidney disease or chronic renal failure is a condition in which the kidneys progressively lose their ability to remove waste and excess fluid from the bloodstream. More than 1 in 10 people have some form of kidney damage and it is more common in women. </p><p>The two leading causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have heart problems, obesity, a family history of kidney disease, or are above age 60, you are also at high risk of having kidney disease.</p><p>Kidney disease can act as a silent killer. Most people don&#39;t experience any symptoms until the kidneys are already badly damaged, which can lead to kidney failure. 2 out of 5 adults with severe kidney disease don&#39;t know they have it. The only way to know if you have kidney disease is through blood and urine tests, which is why preventive measures are so important for kidney health.</p><p>While chronic kidney disease can be treatable through medication, the only treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or kidney transplantation; hence, organ donation, living and deceased, is a commendable, lifesaving generosity that should be encouraged. </p><p><strong>How can you take care of your kidneys?</strong></p><p>The good news is that kidney disease is preventable as long as you take the proper steps to protect your kidneys:</p><ul><li>Drink 10-12 glasses of water every day</li><li>Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day</li><li>Maintain a healthy diet; keep salt intake to 5-6 grams per day </li><li>Avoid smoking</li><li>Avoid regular intake of painkillers </li><li>Ensure your blood pressure and sugar levels are in control </li><li>Get yearly lab screening tests </li></ul><p>With disastrous events such as earthquakes, floods, and difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to prioritize prevention, early detection, and management of kidney disease, to live a healthy, happy life.
© The Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan