This year’s world Kidney day themed, Kidney Disease and Obesity; Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys, focuses on obesity as a predisposing factor to kidney disease and also emphasises healthy lifestyle as a key to a healthy kidney.
Kidneys are the organs that filter waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:
- remove waste products from the body
- remove drugs from the body
- balance the body’s fluids
- release hormones that regulate blood pressure
- produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- Control the production of red blood cells.
The following can damage your kidney overtime;
- Alcohol consumption,
- Red, fatty meat, medication,
- not drinking enough water,
- lack of sleep,
- Hypovolemia (low blood volume) due to blood loss
- Dehydration from loss of body fluid (for example, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever)
- Disease conditions such as diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus e.t.c
Watch for symptoms of chronic kidney disease. You might not notice symptoms right away since chronic kidney disease takes time to develop. Pay attention for;
- Increased or decreased frequency of urination
- Itching and dry skin anywhere on the body
- Obvious blood in the urine or dark, foamy urine
- Muscle cramps and muscle twitches
- Puffiness or swelling around the eyes, feet and/or ankles
- Difficulty breathing, concentrating, or sleeping
Prevention of kidney problems;
- Improve your diet by cutting down on salt intake, cooking your own food, cut down on processed food and spices,
- Adopt healthy lifestyle by avoiding cigarette smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, going for regular check-up,
- Use only physician prescribed medications
- Recognize symptoms of kidney problems and get proper treatment.
- Adherence to treatment regimen
Common myths about kidney stones;
- Dietary calcium causes kidney stones; this is not true because the more they stay away from calcium, the more they are likely to develop kidney stones.
- Coffee, tea and carbonated drinks cause kidney stone; many believe that these drinks cause kidney stones. This is not true because the water in the drinks helps to flush the compounds that could cause the formation of the stones out of the system.
- Alcohol causes stones; it was found that beer and wine were found to decrease the formation of stones. However, only moderate consumption of alcohol is advised.
- Kidney stone is hereditary; it is a false assertion. It can develop in anyone and not until it is hereditary.
- Kidney stones and gall bladder stones are the same; this is not so as both are not related despite the fact that both are stones.