Are your kidneys ok? This seems to be the question that the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). These are the two organizations to create World Kidney Day. Education, evaluation, and donation are themes that tend to be stressed over the years since its creation.
History of World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day was first celebrated in 2006 asking the above question – Are Your Kidneys Ok? The idea that there is great need to educate the world about the importance of kidney health, and reduce the impact of kidney disease and other health conditions associated with them, is what pushed the ISN and IFKF to team up and make a difference.
The goal that was established was to raise awareness of what our kidneys do and what can happen when they are not working properly. They strive to teach the risk factors and bring screening to those at risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Prevention is the main overall goal by teaching communities how to keep their risk factors as low as possible.
Respectfully, World Kidney Day is also about donation. Transplant professionals use the day to educate people on the need for organ donation. This is a decision that if left until the last moment can be difficult and painful for families. But individuals can easily make their wishes known and in the United States can identify this on their identification. These donations can bring the joy of life back to someone who is suffering from kidney disease.
How to celebrate World Kidney Day
Across the world, celebrations take different forms, from free screenings to Zumba marathons! Is your community planning an event? Celebrate by attending and learning more! Do you know what your personal risk for Chronic Kidney Disease is? If not, use this reminder to make an appointment to see your physician and find out.
According to worldkidneyday.org, there are 8 golden rules for kidney health.
- Keep regular control of your blood sugar. About 50% of people with Diabetes will develop kidney damage. Make sure you are doing all you can to stay in control!
- Keep fit and active. Staying active helps in many areas to keep your kidneys healthy as well as promotes a positive mood and weight loss.
- Eat healthily and keep your weight in check. Making good food choices will go hand in hand with staying active to reduce weight and encourage good health.
- Water, water, water! Keeping hydrated is good for your skin as well as your kidneys. Staying hydrated flushes the toxins out of the kidneys and reduces the chance of kidney stones.
- No Smoking! Smoking is bad in many ways, but for the kidneys, the chance of developing cancer in them increases by 50% for smokers.
- Stay away from over-the-counter medicine for chronic issues. Many over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen can harm your kidneys if taken regularly. It is ok to take for emergencies, but see a physician if you are having chronic pain for options that will not cause harm.
Celebrate World Kidney Day by learning more about your kidneys and how to keep them healthy and happy for years to come!