Today we want to talk about something that affects 1 in 10 Australians in their lifetime in some way:
Since maintaining your kidney health is such a big issue, we’ll send two email installments for it –
- Part 1: takes a look at important kidney info in more detail
- Part 2: full of helpful tips for keeping those two bean shaped organs healthy – or improving your quality of life if you already have issues with your kidneys
Right, let’s get into it!
Like the rest of the body, your kidney’s age naturally. This is why issues with kidneys are so prevalent as you get older.
After the age of 40, kidney filtration begins to fall by approximately 1% per year.
They play a vital role in your body, working around the clock to:
- Process excess fluids and toxins/waste
- Keep your blood pressure regular
- Clean your blood 12 times every hour
- Create urine
- Manage Vitamin D production, needed for strong bones and producing red blood cells
Without healthy kidneys, other organs in your body may suffer. In the majority of cases, this means waste will gradually builds up (since your kidneys can’t filter/remove it) and it can lead to kidney disease if left untreated.
What You Need to Know:Kidney disease impacts over a million Australians each year, and there are 5 different stages (1 being mild and 5 being severe).
- Even if your kidneys are fine now, it’s important to understand the risks and how to prevent potential kidney damage
- If you are already in an early stage of kidney disease, you can still slow down or halt the progression of the disease
- If you’re in a later stage, your doctor will discuss treatment options to manage the condition with you
There are two main types of kidney disease:Acute Kidney Injury (short-term)
- Temporary loss of kidney function and lasts less than 3 months
- Usually a response to injury or illness affecting the kidneys
- Kidneys can recover with the right treatment/care, but chances of developing Chronic Kidney Disease later are higher
Chronic Kidney Injury/Disease (long-term)
- Occurs after your kidneys are damaged or not functioning as needed for more than 3 months
- The most common cause in Australia is diabetes, followed by high blood pressure
- Chronic Kidney Injury may also come from an immune disorder, long-term use of certain drugs/medications, a blockage to the urinary system (e.g. enlarged prostate or kidney stones) and even your genetics/family history
- It is a lifelong condition that will progress over time. In some cases there may be a need for kidney replacement therapy at some point such as dialysis to help do some of the things don’t by healthy kidneys
Unsure if you’re at risk of kidney disease?
Click here to take the quick and easy Kidney Risk Test.
We’ll be back early next week with Part Two, and share how to make lifestyle changes to prevent severe kidney illness, or deter progression of the disease as much as possible.