According to National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), kidney disease is the 7th leading cause of death in the Philippines. One Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour and there are currently more than 70,000 Filipinos who are undergoing dialysis. 1.1 million individuals around the world are on renal replacement therapy and the numbers are still rising.
How do your kidneys work?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) describes the kidneys as bean-shaped organs (approximately the size of a fist) and is located just below your rib cage. Kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood, producing urine and cleaning out wastes from your body. About half a cup of blood is filtered every minute. The kidneys go through about 150 quarts of blood a day and in turn produces one to two quarts of urine from the process. Your body needs your kidneys to help maintain a healthy balance of salts, water, and minerals. Not to mention, it’s essential in controlling your blood pressure and keeps your bones healthy and strong.
Who are at risk?
People diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure are more likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD). Obesity, family history, and those with heart disease are also at risk of developing CKD. The prices of medical treatment for kidney failure is expensive and may not even guarantee complete recovery if diagnosed in the late stages. Get yourself tested for kidney ailments and visit your trusted urologist if you feel sudden changes in urine color/production and repeated cases of urinary tract infections (UTI).
Signs of UTI
Getting urinary tract infections is common and painful for most patients. UTI can be easily diagnosed if you know the basic symptoms like:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Pain around your bladder area while urinating
- Cloudy urine (sometimes with the presence of blood)
- Back pain/sharp pain under your rib area
- Nausea, vomiting
UTI can be prevented by going to the bathroom when you need to. Women should avoid wiping in the direction of the vagina after defecating to avoid the spread of bacteria.
Easy ways to prevent kidney disease
The best way to avoid getting sick is to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Avoid foods which are high in sodium and cut out excess sugar in your diet. Here are some other ways to take care of your kidneys:
- Ditch processed foods and meats since these contain the high amounts of salts and harmful preservatives.
- Say no to sodas and sugary treats. Choose fresh fruits for snack time.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid drinking when you can. Limit your alcohol intake to two glasses/bottles a day.
- Exercise regularly. Small steps like taking the stairs on a regular basis can help you lose that excess weight.
- Do not take herbal supplements and other medications without consulting a doctor.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Monitor your blood pressure and watch out for sudden spikes and surges.