Healthy kidney for a longer life

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With renal problems on the rise, dialysis has become one of the most common words in terms of healthcare. Over the past decades kidney issues have crept up on people, making it a global issue today. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 10% of the world population suffers from kidney problems, with millions dying annually without sufficient treatment.

In the Maldives, while the number of patients seeking dialysis is rising day by day, the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) says it has over 100 patients on the waiting list to receive dialysis. IGMH says they are providing regular dialysis services to over 150 patients. Statistics show that a majority of patients who have kidney ailments are elderly.

IGMH has in recent years expanded renal health dialysis services. The hospital offers all kidney-related treatments except kidney transplants. The hospital began providing dialysis services in 2001 with 2 machines, but now has a total of 20 machines with the capacity to provide dialysis to 80 patients a day. 150 patients seek regular dialysis services from IGMH three days a week for four hours each.

In the wake of this rising health issue, the World Kidney Day greeted everyone with a new theme and new zeal this year. The World Kidney Day was founded in 2006 and there has been no looking back since then. It is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. Every year, the campaign highlights a particular theme; this year’s theme being Kidney Disease & Children. Act Early to Prevent It!

All across the globe many hundred events take place from public screenings in Argentina to Zumba marathons in Malaysia. The events are carried out to create awareness about preventive behaviors, about risk factors, and awareness about how to live with a kidney disease.

Kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions. Experts says that major risk factors for kidney diseases are high blood pressure and diabetes. Kidney failures are mostly caused by dehydration, having a blocked urine flow causing sepsis or other infections.

According to National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Kidney disease often shows no symptoms and can go undetected; but a simple urine or blood test can determine if you have kidney disease. Kidney problems can be either acute or chronic. Acute kidney problems come on quickly but the kidneys often recover after treatment. Chronic kidney disease is the most common type of kidney disease and occurs when the kidneys are damaged or are not functioning as well for 3 months or longer.

NKF says the main risk factors are diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older. In honor of National Kidney Month, the NKF offers 7 Golden Rules of Prevention to lower your chances of getting kidney disease. This includes regular check-ups, controlling blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, and eating a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding the use of tobacco and over using pain medication.

They say prevention is better than cure. With kidney issues killing millions worldwide every year, it is time we thought about ourselves and our health. It is time we take measures to keep ourselves healthy so as to prevent such from happening to us. A healthy kidney can vouch for a longer life.

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