World Kidney Day: Improve Your Kidney Health

06/02/2019

As World Kidney Day approaches, we’d like to help raise awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to protect against kidney disease.

World Kidney Day, which this year is Thursday 14 March, is an initiative led by four UK kidney charities, Kidney Care UK, Kidney Research UK, National Kidney Federation and Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity.

Kidneys are essential to our health, they get rid of excess water and toxins, regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep our bones strong.

Over 3 million people in the UK suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which is when kidneys are damaged or lose function over time.   CKD can be controlled with prompt treatment and changes in lifestyle, but if left untreated it can progress to kidney failure which can be fatal without dialysis or a transplant.

Improve Your Kidney Health 

There are several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. Some small changes in behaviour can have enormous health benefits.

  • Monitor your blood pressure

High blood pressure accelerates kidney damage.  To protect yourself from kidney disease you should also maintain a diet low in salt and saturated fats.

  • Keep fit and active

This helps reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of kidney disease.

  • Don’t smoke

Smoking slows blood flow to the kidneys, deceasing their ability to function properly.

  • Eat healthily and keep your weight in check

This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney disease.

  • Get your kidney function tested

If anyone in your family has suffered from kidney disease, you are diabetic or have high blood pressure or if you are of South Asian or African-Caribbean ethnic background.

  • Keep well hydrated

This helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which can significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
 
For further information about keeping your kidneys healthy, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Transplants and Living Donation visit the National Kidney Federation

Travelling with Chronic Kidney Disease

If you suffer from chronic kidney disease and are planning a holiday Dr Handford’s travel tips for travellers with kidney disease could help you plan your trip.

One important thing to remember is travel insurance, make sure that you declare all of your medical conditions including kidney disease when you get a quotation.

Get a quote for travel insurance to cover chronic kidney disease.