Today we celebrate World Kidney Day, with the focus on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and what you can do to recognize and prevent the condition. At Angeles Health we are committed to helping patients with a range of conditions to enjoy their life and attain complete health and wellbeing.
An estimated 10% of adults have some level of kidney damage and every year millions of people die as the result of Chronic Kidney Disease. Here we will take a look the function of our kidneys, how chronic kidney disease affects this function, and who is most at risk of chronic kidney disease.
What Do Your Kidneys Do?
Your kidneys are about the size of your fist and contain millions of filters called nephrons, which filter the blood and regulate water and chemical levels within your body. The main role of your kidneys is to remove toxins and water from your blood, although they also contribute to the production of red blood cells, bone health and controlling your blood pressure.
By controlling the levels of minerals, like sodium and potassium, and water in your blood, your kidneys help to keep your blood pressure constant. If your kidneys don’ function properly, your body’s chemical balance will become unstable, resulting in a range of complications, including high blood pressure.
What Is Chronic Kidney Disease
CKD is a condition where kidney function is lost gradually over a period of time. If your nephrons become damaged they stop working properly. When this happens, your healthy nephrons will do their best to do the work of the lost nephrons and maintain healthy kidney function, but as the healthy nephrons are pushed to work harder and harder, they too can become damaged, causing more and more nephrons to stop working. Eventually, the remaining healthy nephrons in the kidneys will be unable to filter the blood efficiently to keep the body healthy. This is called kidney failure, and affects the whole body.
If untreated, kidney failure can be fatal. However, kidney disease is treatable and, as with all chronic conditions, the earlier it is diagnosed, the more successful treatment tends to be.
Who Is At Risk?
It is estimated that half of people aged over 75 have CKD. Chronic kidney disease can develop at any age, and can be caused by other conditions, such as diabetes, however as we age our risk of developing CKD increases. After the age of 40 years old, kidney filtration reduces by around 1% a year. In addition to this natural age-related loss of kidney function, aging makes people more susceptible to conditions that can damage the kidneys, including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
How Can You Prevent CKD?
The natural loss of kidney function as the result of aging can’t be prevented. However, there are things you can do to prevent unnecessary kidney damage. Keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control is the main way to maintain healthy kidneys, as diabetes and high blood pressure are the primary causes of CKD.
You can’t prevent the natural loss of kidney function, but there are lifestyle decisions you can take to maintain good kidney health: exercise regularly (five times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes), eat a low sodium, low fat diet, avoid tobacco and drink alcohol in moderation.
About Angeles Health
Angeles Health is Mexico’s largest network of private hospitals, catering for Mexican Nationals and Medical Tourists, predominantly from the USA and Canada. With world-renowned experts and state of the art equipment we provide cancer treatment, weight loss surgery, stem cell treatment and much more to people who are seeking the highest quality medical treatment at a lower cost than they would receive in their native country. We are committed to excellence in our specialist areas; this includes being a center of excellence in stem cell therapy, where we help people who have suffered from kidney failure to regain some of the lost kidney function.
If you would like to know more about Angeles Health and how it could help you, get in touch today for a free, no-obligation consultation.