World Kidney Day
The second Thursday of every March is celebrated as the World Kidney
Day. The sixth World Kidney Day was observed on Thursday March
14, 2013. In 2006, the first World Kidney Day was observed to create awareness among public regarding the importance of kidneys in relation
to overall health and also reduce the impact of kidney-related disorders
worldwide. Since then, the second Thursday of March is observed as the World Kidney
Day (WKD) in more than 100 countries.
World Kidney Day 2011
In keeping with the theme for 2011 ‘Protect Your Kidneys, Save your Heart,’ the programs sought to drive home the message
of early detection of kidney disease, and the connection between kidneys
and heart. Kidney disease increases the risk of heart problem for people with
diabetes and hypertension. In healthy people also, kidney disease is an
independent risk factor for heart problems. In fact, most people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) will die
prematurely from cardiovascular disease before they develop end stage renal failure.
The Tamil Nadu Kidney Research Foundation (TANKER) and the Madras Medical College organized a walkathon at the Marina each, Chennai, on
Thursday, the 10th March 2011 to raise awareness about kidney disease. Scores of college
students participated in the walkathon. Various organizations and hospitals, and many doctors
participated in the events. A band played music at the event. Since its inception 2006, WKD has become the most significant
attempt at creating awareness among general public and public health
institutions about Kidneys’ role and the dangers of kidney disease. 2011 WKD calls attention to the connection between kidney disease and
cardiovascular diseases. WKD emphasizes that kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable.
World Kidney Day 2010
World Kidney day is an international day to raise global health awareness about kidneys, focusing on the importance
of kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. In
year 2010 campaign focuses on the theme ‘Protect your kidneys: Control diabetes’.
Diabetes is one of the major contributing factors for kidney failure and is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease.
Among persons with diabetes, interventions to control blood sugar and blood pressure reduce the risk for
developing kidney disease or slow its progression. Diabetes and high blood pressure are common causes of kidney disease. However,
most people with kidney disease are not aware of their condition. If you have
diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease, and keep
your kidneys healthy by controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure.
Kidney is a very important organ in our body. It pumps out the waste materials from
our body and perform functions crucial to all parts of the body. They can be affected by problems such as urinary tract infection and chronic kidney disease. Even when the kidneys no longer function, dialysis and transplantation have proved to be alternatives.
“Bones can break, muscles can atrophy, glands can loaf, even the brain can go to sleep without immediate danger to survival. But should the kidneys fail, neither bones, muscles, gland nor brain could carry on.” —Dr. Homer W. Smith
Functions of Kidney
The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. This process is necessary to maintain a
stable balance of body chemicals. The critical regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. Kidneys also produce
hormones which stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism
In our body there are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist. Each kidney contains upto a million nephrons, filtering units of tiny blood vessels called glomeruli attached to a tubule. When blood enters the
glomeruli, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body’s needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease main cause is diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited, others are congenital. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage:
Glomerulonephritis: It causes inflammation of the glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis may happen suddenly,
Polycystic kidney disease is commonly inherited. It is characterized by the formation of kidney cysts that enlarge over time and may cause serious kidney damage and even kidney failure.
Kidney stones forms due to the presence of excessive calcium in the body. It causes severe pain in the back and side of the body. Medications and diet can help to prevent stone formation. Urinary tract
infections: It occur when germs enter the urinary tract and cause symptoms such as pain and/or burning during urination and more frequent need to urinate.
These infections most often affect the bladder, but they sometimes spread to the kidneys. When a valve-like mechanism between the bladder and ureter (urine tube) fails to work properly and allows
urine to back up (reflux) to the kidneys, it results in infections and possible kidney damage. Using over-the-counter pain relievers for a long time may be harmful to the kidneys.
Chronic Kidney Disease Detection
Early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease is the
only way remove to kidney disease check the kidney failure. Some simple tests can be done to detect early kidney disease.
1. Blood pressure measurement;
2. A test for protein in the urine.
3. A test for blood creatinine.
Creatinine is freely filtered by the glomerular capillaries,
inside the nephrons, and a small amount is also secreted in our body. But when these nephrons get damaged either due to high BP or diabetes, then the Glomerular Filtration Rate
(GFR) also decreases. As a result of this, the creatinine level ncreases in a patient’s body.
| Kidney failure
Chronic kidney disease may progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis
or kidney transplantation. Treating high blood pressure with special medications called
angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors often help to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.
: Kidney failure may be treated with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Treatment with hemodialysis (the artificial kidney) may be performed at a dialysis unit or at
home. Hemodialysis treatments are usually performed three times a week. Peritoneal dialysis is
generally done daily at home. Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis requires the use of a machine while
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis does not.
Kidney transplant: The kidney may come from either
a dead donor or from a living donor who may be a relative, friend or possibly a stranger as per Organ Donation Act, who donates
a kidney to anyone in need of a transplant.
Warning signs of kidney
There are six warning signs of kidney disease:
1. High blood pressure.
2. Blood and/or protein in the urine.
3. A creatinine blood test greater than 1.2 for women and 1.4 for men.
4. A glomerular filtration rate (GFR) less than 60. GFR is a measure of how well your
kidneys filter wastes from your blood. GFR may be estimated from your creatinine level.
5. More frequent urination, particularly at night, difficult or painful urination.
6. Puffiness around eyes, swelling of hands and feet, especially in children.
If anybody has all these warning signs then a routine ultrasound of the kidneys is a must. With this
you can prevent from kidney problems in the early stages.
"Kidney cancer is totally curable if detected early which may have the
manifestations in the shape of blood in urine, persisting ill-health, anaemia, steady weight loss, back or abdominal pain which call for periodic USG
check-up," Shibaji Basu, chief urologist and R K Gopala Krishna, consultant urologist of the Wockhardt hospital and kidney institute, said.
Kidney disease in most cases is lifestyle related. High BP and diabetes are very common today. Most of
the chronic kidney disease patients have either of the two, especially in the urban population.
If chronic kidney disease is diagnosed in the early stages, it can be managed well and need for dialysis and a transplant in a patient can
be delayed. A creatinine clearance test along with patient's medical history can help a physician diagnose whether he/she is a case of
hronic kidney disease or not. Precautions to keep kidneys healthy:
1. Be fit and active: Keeping yourself fit and active may help to control your blood sugar and therefore reduces the risk of chronic kidney disease.
2. Control diabetes: World Kidney Day 2010 focuses on controlling diabetes, highlighting the importance of
keeping blood sugar level in control, as it is a key cause of chronic kidney disease. About half of those people who have diabetes develop early signs of kidney damage.
3. Control your weight: Weight control can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated to chronic kidney disease.
4. Be your kidneys checked regularly: People with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions and control their blood sugar levels.
Early detection is essential and allows suitable treatment before kidney damage or deterioration.
5. Beware of OTCs: Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis- common drugs such
non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.
Consult always a doctor to find a way to control your pain.