Thursday, March 14, 2013

World Kidney Day 2013!

It's the third week of  National Kidney Month.  Yay!  So throughout the month you'll see more posts on the science of kidney disease, treating kidney disease, and living with kidney disease.  And most importantly, what you can do to support yourself or anyone you know with chronic kidney problems.  Happy Kidney Month!

So I didn't wear anything orange today. Boo! I know.  But the only orange shirt I happen to have is from when I volunteered with NKF for KEEP back in February.  And it's an orange T-SHIRT.  Not exactly work appropriate.  But that doesn't mean I can't celebrate!  Today is World Kidney Day. Yay!  Go kidneys!  Here are some random facts, courtesy of the National Kidney Foundation:  

  • 26 million Americans are affected by Kidney Disease
  • A lot of these people are located in the South, where all the good homecookin' is...but also where a lot of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease is
  • 1336 people in Maryland, Virginia, D.C. and West Virginia are on dialysis
  • Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee are home to about 1500 dialysis patients
  • Our kidneys do more than filter blood; they help create it, as well as stabilize salt, potassium, and acid levels in the body.  
  • Early detection is the key to surviving kidney disease.  Many people who have it, don't know they have it!  And the same goes for people who are at risk.
  • There is no cure for kidney disease.
  • Dialysis or transplantation are the only ways for patients with End Stage Renal Disease to survive.
  • The average waiting time for a kidney transplant from a diseased donor is four to eight years. 
  • Kidneys from living donors have the highest success rates!  Patients with end stage renal disease can live off a kidney from a living donor for as long as 20 years! 
When I was diagnosed with kidney disease, I didn't know what to expect. And neither did my parents.  But early detection saved my life!  I know many people I talk to hate going to the doctor, but I highly recommend having an annual physical if you have a history of kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or any chronic condition in your family.  

On World Kidney Day, spread awareness about this disease and the risk factors.  Check your blood pressure. Have your friend's blood pressure checked!  Take on a low-sodium, non-processed foods diet for a day.  And if you feel called to, look into becoming a donor for someone who needs it at http://www.kidney.org/transplantation/beadonor.cfm

Seriously, the gift of life is one of the greatest gifts you can give! AND...I think you get tax breaks if you do it.  I think I would totally donate my organs if I thought someone would want them.  But right now, I'm pretty sure if I donate my kidneys, the recipient would probably only be able to get a weekend...maybe a week's worth of function out of them.  Yeah so, if you're entire body hasn't gone to sh*t, donate something!