world kidney day

World Kidney Day

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

As an advocate of wellness and global health consciousness of kidney and kidney related diseases, World Kidney Day is an epitome of this very thought of Mahatma Gandhi. Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March, it hopes to promote the idea that good health is priceless and is therefore an integral ingredient to the recipe of a happy and content life. This day is being used to raise education, promote self-empowerment, and diffuse knowledge of the ways kidney diseases could be prevented, delayed or controlled along with extending support to the patients already suffering from kidney disease and its repercussions.

World Kidney Day: When it all began

Dating back to 2006 when the World Kidney Day was first observed, it garnered the support of 66 countries and this number shot up to 88 within a couple of years. As a joint initiative by the International Society of Nephrology and International Federation of Kidney Foundations, the World Kidney Day aspires to prevent people from entering the dark tunnel of kidney related health issues and even if they do happen to step into this complex labyrinth of tunnel, it yearns to help them see the light at the end of it.

Every year this day is embellished with a particular theme to enhance its effectiveness and make it more memorable and communicative and thus more inspirational and impactful. The themes of the preceding years listed below have created a stir bringing the subject of kidney health to the forefront:

2006: Are your kidneys OK?

2007: CKD: Common, harmful and treatable

2008: Your amazing Kidneys

2009: Protect your kidneys: Keep your pressure down

2010: Protect your kidneys: Control diabetes

2011: Protect your Kidneys: save your heart

2012: Donate – Kidneys for Life – Receive

2013: Kidneys for life: Stop Kidney attack!

2014: Chronic kidney Disease (CKD) and aging

2015: Kidney Health for all

2016: Kidney Disease & Children – Act Early to prevent it!

2017: Kidney Disease & Obesity – Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys

2018: Kidneys & Women’s health. Include, Value, Empower

2019: Kidney health for everyone, everywhere

2020: Kidney health for everyone, everywhere – from Prevention to Detection and Equitable Access to Care

2021: Living Well with Kidney Disease

Using tools such as public screenings, organising campaigns, distributing pamphlets/ posters in educational institutions, posting blogs/articles/quizzes on kidney related issues on social media and organizing camps and events such as running marathons, jogging, dancing along with encouraging organizations and associations to discuss this day and its significance in schools, offices etc makes this day a successful pursuit every year. By efficiently communicating about the preventive measures, risk factors of kidney diseases and how to live with it, this day and its specific themes aims to positively impact one and all; the patients, their caretakers, medical professionals along with the healthful individuals.

Different types of Kidney Disease:

1) Chronic Kidney Disease

2) Kidney stones

3) Glomerulonephritis

4) Polycystic Kidney Disease

5) Urinary Tract Infections

6) Alport Syndrome

7) Diabetic Nephropathy

8) Fabry Disease

9) Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis

10) IgA Nephropathy (Buerger’s Disease)

11) Nephrotic syndrome

Who is at risk of developing Kidney Disease?

Some people are more likely to develop kidney related health issues than others. These people are the ones who have:

  • Diabetes
  • Weak immune system
  • Excessive smoking habits
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Family members with chronic kidney disease or other issues
  • Obesity
  • Abnormal kidney structure
  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease

Some signs and symptoms to be cautious about:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in urination such as urinating more or less than usual or change of texture of the urine
  • Skin rashes or itching
  • Swelling in legs, ankles, face, hands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood in urine
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure that becomes difficult to control

Prevention and Precautions:

  • Maintain a healthy diet by eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding excess salt
  • Control the body weight and increase physical activity
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Control blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Manage other medical conditions
  • Avoid the frequent use of painkillers as they may damage the kidney

World Kidney Day as a global initiative strives to promote healthy living and over the years it has successfully done so. Promoting kidney health and spreading awareness about the same has become integral since many are still on the path of learning that the kidney has more than one function. It has the steering wheel of the body and is therefore responsible for constantly driving it to the road of wellness. So, this World Kidney Day, let’s take the pledge of becoming responsible citizens and educating everyone around us of the importance of the proper care of the Kidney.