Did you know that today is World Kidney Day? It’s a day that health and medical professionals set aside to highlight the importance of these vital organs and the role they play in your overall health. Want to know how you can minimize your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease? Read on!
Want a general, overall tip for staying healthy and avoiding many of the chronic (or acute) conditions and symptoms that plague millions of Americans on a daily basis? Here it is: keep your BMI (body mass index) at a healthy, appropriate level. Obesity is a direct and indirect cause of a staggering number of health issues that can decrease both the quality and length of your life.
Unsurprisingly, excess weight has a profound negative effect on the function of your kidneys. It greatly affects your blood pressure and the likelihood of diabetes, which in turn directly affect your kidneys. Your kidneys are responsible for a vital role in your body’s health: they filter your blood and help to eliminate waste and other toxins from your body. In fact, they’re responsible for filtering about 200 quarts of blood per day. Does that sound like a set of organs you want to start malfunctioning? We didn’t think so!
There’s a reason that World Kidney Day organizers are stressing weight management as a central theme of this year’s efforts. The simple fact is that your weight is inexorably tied to how well your kidneys can do their job. And worse, if you leave obesity unchecked, you can do permanent damage to the kidneys themselves.
Much of the permanent damage you can cause your kidneys falls under the banner of Chronic Kidney Disesase (CKD). So, what is chronic kidney disease, and how could it possibly affect you if you are beginning to exhibit signs of CKD? In its early stages, chronic kidney disease can make you feel anemic (tired), or even vaguely sick due to waste levels building up in your body without being expelled.
Later on, as your chronic kidney disease progresses, other more serious complications may occur. CKD is a marker for future heart disease and problems with blood vessels. In fact, if left unchecked, chronic kidney disease can eventually cause total kidney failure — which means you require dialysis for the rest of your days, if not a total kidney transplant.
Kidneys are a vitally important set of organs that probably don’t receive enough attention. Just ask anyone who needs to visit a dialysis center on a weekly basis if they wish they’d paid more attention to kidney health. And after all, that’s the point of World Kidney Day: to keep us aware of these crucial organs, with a reminder that maintaining a healthy body weight is the number one way to keep your kidneys functioning normally. Now get out there and get exercising, for the sake of your kidneys!