World Kidney is celebrated on 13th March to give awareness about the kidney problems and ideas how to prevent. Kidneys are bean-shaped organs located on either side of spine, just above the waist. They perform various functions of the body and act as life sustaining organs. Kidneys eliminate the waste and excess fluid from the body. They maintain balance of minerals and salts in blood and controls blood pressure. Each bean shaped kidney contains million nephrons. Nephrons are the basic cells of kidney and carry a filter known as glomerulus which filters the blood.
Role of Healthy Kidneys:
1) Regulate the amount of minerals such as sodium, phosphorus and potassium in blood.
2) Maintain the concentration of water in blood and removes the excess fluid.
3) Releases enzyme renin that regulates blood pressure.
4) Hormone such as erythropoietin stimulates the production of red blood cells.
5) They produce an active form of Vitamin D that maintain strong bones and keep them healthy.
HOW KIDNEYS CAN BE DAMAGED?
Damage to kidneys can be sudden or with slow progression depending upon the cause. Increased blood loss due to accident or injury can lead to acute kidney failure and is often short lived. In most cases, it directly attacks nephrons.
The process of kidney damage takes place slowly, or even takes years. This is actually good news because if identified early, it can be easily controlled and managed through medications, proper diet, and better lifestyle. In this way, you can save the life of kidneys. Without kidneys, life is impossible. One kidney can work for the maintenance of body functions to some extent. Excessive intake of chemicals can also damage the kidney.
CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE:
When kidney loses 1/3 function of a body over 3 months, the disease is said to be chronic kidney disease. It can lead to kidney failure if not managed earlier. With the course of time, dialysis and transplant becomes necessary to stay alive. CKD is dangerous because it causes irreversible failure and due to loss of kidney functions, there is accumulation of water, waste and toxic materials which are supposed to be eliminated through kidney normally. Hence dialysis is the solution to remove these wasteful substances from the body. Dialysis is a highly painful process and the second option is kidney transplantation.
High blood pressure and Diabetes Type I and II are the most common causes of Chronic Kidney Disease. Other causes are related to immune system such as lupus, chronic viral illness, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C.
PREVENTIVE MEASURES- HOW TO SAVE OUR KIDNEY?
As kidneys play an important role in life, so we all should be aware of preventive measures to save kidney.
Some of them are listed below:
Drink lots of water to reduce the risks of Stones and kidney infections. More water helps in the elimination of wastes from the body.
High Blood Pressure is one of the main factors that can lead to kidney failure. Therefore, try to maintain your blood pressure by doing exercises, intake of healthy foods. Some medications are helpful in controlling BP; hypertensive patients should use such drugs. High BP puts huge stress on kidneys, managing your BP will protect kidneys.
Diabetic patients need to take care of their kidneys as they are on risk. Weight control, medications to regulate blood sugar level and exercise will assist in prevention.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables including legumes (peas or beans) and grain-based food like bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
Quit smoking and alcohol from your diet.
Eat foods that contain less fat.
Men become more dehydrated as compared to women. So, drink pure water while you are indoor, outdoor, and resting Every Time. !!!
Most people of our society are deprived from the knowledge of kidney diseases and their methods of prevention. Awareness is essential to reduce the incidence of diseases, so for this purpose National Academy of young Scientists (NAYS), The Emerging Nations Science Foundation (ENSF) and Pakistan science Foundation (PSF) arrange awareness seminars and publish articles to help our society. Now it’s the responsibility of every reader to spread the knowledge to your friends, family and beloved ones.
Article: Mariam Asif
National Academy of Young Scientists (NAYS) Pakistan,