World Kidney Day: Why is It Celebrated?
World Kidney Day is celebrated annually on March 11th. The goal of this day is to raise awareness of healthy living habits for those affected by chronic kidney disease.
However, to understand the dynamics of this day and the disease that harms the kidneys, let’s briefly meet the protagonist.
The kidneys have a very important role in the body, as they filter the blood, discard the disproportion of fluid along with toxins, balance the substances present in the blood, and have a relevant effect on blood pressure. By understanding this, we can take a broad look at what causes a malfunction.
Celebrating World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day was planned to raise awareness and recognize the importance of the kidneys to the body. The aim is to generate preventive awareness, timely information on risk factors, and understanding the best way to cope with a major kidney complication.
The phrase selected for the 2021 event makes the goal “living well with kidney disease” clear. The day was initially made possible by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
“Kidneys are part of the essence of life, so taking care of them will promote longevity.”
The Goals of World Kidney Day
The objectives of World Kidney Day are multiple and important in their proper measure so that the information reaches all points and thus achieves the desired global awareness. Among the main ones are the following:
- Bring valuable data to different medical sectors on the diagnosis and successful avoidance of the disease
- Highlight the risk factors that trigger the illness
- Point out kidney transplants as a highly effective way to combat renal failure
- Encourage the population to assume the responsibility of being a donor as a heroic gesture that can change the world
- Ask the health authorities to invest in tests that can determine kidney problems seriously
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Themes from previous years
Each year since 2006, World Kidney Day features a theme that they focus on to enhance its advancement. As mentioned before, “living well with kidney disease” is the theme for 2021. At the same time, we find it interesting to highlight the themes of previous years to note the evolution of the commemoration:
- 2006: “Are your kidneys OK?“The aim was to issue a warning for the early identification of kidney failure.
- 2007: “CKD: common, harmful and treatable.” Expressed that it’s a difficulty that can be lived with, but that has alarming adverse effects if not treated in time.
- 2008: “Your amazing kidneys!” Exalting the role of the kidneys in the organism.
- 2009: “Protect your kidneys: keep your blood pressure low.” The relevance of controlling blood pressure so that the kidneys’ blood vessels aren’t damaged.
- 2010: “Protect your kidneys: Control diabetes.” Showing that high blood sugar levels are harmful to the kidneys.
- 2011: “Protect your kidneys: Save your heart.” To show the relationship between kidney problems and heart difficulties.
- 2012: “Donate – Kidneys for Life – Receive.” Emphasize donation as a great solution.
- 2013: “Kidneys for Life – Stop Kidney Attack!” Stopping damage to the kidneys from a precautionary activity.
- 2014: “Chronic Kidney Disease and aging: Your Kidneys Age, Just Like You.” Increasing incidence of CKD in the elderly.
- 2015: “Kidney health for all.” Search for health balance to treat the various kidney deficiencies.
Themes from the last 5 years
- 2016: “Kidney disease & children: Act early to prevent it!” Constant care to the renal health of the youngest to avoid long-term difficulties.
- 2017: “Kidney Disease & Obesity.” Obesity as a risk factor due to drawbacks in cytokine synthesis in fat tissue
- 2018: “Kidneys & Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower.” Aimed at female patients to take voice in the battle against renal failure.
- 2019: “Kidney health for everyone everywhere.” It sought to value equity in the treatment of anyone affected by renal difficulties.
- 2020: “Kidney health for everyone everywhere: from prevention to detection and equitable access to care.” It was given a broad focus to address many areas in the celebration.
What is chronic kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease is the gradual reduction in kidney output, which can occur over varying periods of time. The deterioration is marked by damage to the nephrons (small filters that purify the blood), which can withstand the work with some damaged kidney cells.
However, there comes a point when the filtering process is deficient and the blood notices it.
Among the main causes are high blood pressure, diabetes, glomerulonephritis, and chronic pyelonephritis. On the other hand, there’s a probability associated with hereditary factors. Also, some medications can cause chronic renal failure if taken for a long time.
Ultimately, the cause most likely to lead to CKD is diabetes. According to surveys, 1 out of every 3 cases of kidney difficulties arises in people with this problem related to excess sugar in the blood.
The importance of early diagnosis
The effort made since World Kidney Day to perfect the early diagnosis phase is due to the fact that it gives specialists more room for work in order to slow down deterioration. Let’s remember that symptoms may be silent until renal failure reaches 90%.
It’s evident that time acts as the main ally so that derivative complications don’t affect the treatment required by each patient. Thus, early diagnosis saves lives.
Treatment and recovery
The first thing to note is that the disease cannot be cured. However, patients’ options are to slow down or stop the damage. The initiatives being managed are as follows:
- Detailed diet and medicines according to the case. This helps to regulate the acidity that was previously the total responsibility of the kidneys.
- Dialysis. It does the work of cleaning the blood that the kidneys can no longer perform. This option is reserved for critical cases.
- Kidney transplant. This is considered the only way to go when end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is reached. At this point, the kidneys cease to have the capacity for survival.
- Recovery time depends on the treatment and severity of the case. In spite of this, follow-up of the disease must be recurrent, as neglect can put the patient’s life at risk.
Also read: Reasons Why the Kidneys Can Hurt
How can I contribute to World Kidney Day?
The aim is to raise awareness and spread the information. Therefore, the best way to contribute is to share the information from the networks using the official poster. In addition, expressing a personal or close experience can help to raise awareness.
Another variant of support is in the form of donations and fundraising events. In the meantime, the forms of support that can be given from a distance are increasing every year.
What you should remember
Early diagnosis is the most important tool for dealing with chronic kidney disease. For this reason, waiting for symptoms is not an option. Taking action is.
In this sense, it’s also a good idea to adopt habits to reduce your risk, such as adopting a low-salt diet, discarding tobacco, reducing alcohol consumption and implementing exercise in the daily routine.
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