Fraser Valley – March is Kidney Health Month and BC Renal and The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon Branch are sending out the message that you could lose up to 80% of your kidney function and not even know it. It is important for British Columbians to be kidney smart, and when it comes to their kidney health, knowledge is definitely power.
Kidney disease is potentially life threatening and has no cure. It’s also much more common than people think. 1 in 10 people have kidney disease, which occurs when kidney damage is present or there is decreased kidney function for a period of three months or more. When this occurs, kidneys can longer do their important work.
“Many people living with kidney disease show no symptoms until the disease is very advanced, so it’s really important to know the risks and to talk to you doctor about being screened for kidney disease if you fall into one of the risk categories,” says Dr. Mike Bevilacqua, chair, BC Renal Kidney Care Committee and appointed medical advisor, The Kidney Foundation. “The earlier someone knows they have compromised kidneys, the higher the chance of preventing or delaying the onset of kidney failure and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.”
The leading causes of kidney disease, include: diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. In addition, those with a family history of kidney disease or individuals from certain ethnic backgrounds, including Asian, South Asian, African, and Aboriginal are also at a greater risk for kidney disease.
There are things you can do to help protect your kidneys like maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes managing blood pressure and blood sugar levels,” continues Bevilacqua.
BC Renal and the Kidney Foundation are encouraging the public to take a simple and quick kidney self-assessment, and to talk to their doctor if they are at risk for kidney disease. For more information, and to check out the kidney self-assessment go to kidneyhealthcheck.ca