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Kidney Health Plus

 RENAL HEALTH PLUS
 
Kidney diseases, especially End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), are already the 7 th leading cause of death among the Filipinos. One Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour or about 120 Filipinos per million population per year. More than 5,000 Filipino patients are presently undergoing dialysis and approximately 1.1 million people worldwide are on renal replacement therapy. Reliable estimates reveal that the number of these patients will double in 2010.

In the past, chronic glomerulonephritis was the most common cause of chronic renal failure. Today, diabetes mellitus and hypertension have taken center stage in the causation of ESRD which together account for almost 60% of dialysis patients.

The cost of medical treatment for kidney disease is really exorbitant, beyond the reach of ordinary patients. Renal transplantation is limited due to the expense and the shortage of donors. The best that can be done at present is to focus efforts on the prevention of progression of renal diseases. Strict blood pressure and glycemic control and adoption of “ healthy lifestyle” play a major role in reducing if not totally controlling the epidemic of renal failure and this could be achieved through proper education.

This Renal Health Plus provides educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases.
 

THE HUMAN KIDNEYS

 

  • Kidneys are important parts of the urinary system. They are found at each side of the spine, below the rib cage of the human body. Each kidney is as big as a fist, weighs ¼ pound and looks like a kidney bean.
  • The kidneys perform vital life-maintaining functions as monitors and regulators of body fluid. They excrete fluids when the body has an excess of them and retain the substances necessary for the body’s continuing function. They produce and release a variety of chemicals to keep the body healthy and filter the entire blood supply every 2 minutes, excreting waste materials through the urine.
  • The kidneys also produce erythropoietin, a hormone that controls the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow.
  • They also are involved in the regulation of blood pressure. This probably happens through the regulation of blood volume and the amount of sodium in the body as well as the production of substances such as the angiotensin.


 GENERAL WAYS OF PROTECTING YOUR KDINEYS
 

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy diet
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid taking medications or herbal supplements without advice of physician
  • Consult doctor right away if with symptoms
  • Drink lots of water and avoid excessive salt
  • Have annual physical check-up especially if with or with family history of hypertension, diabetes or renal failure
  • If hypertensive and diabetic,
    • Take medications regularly
    • See the doctor regularly
    • Know blood sugar and blood pressure goals and make sure targets are met
    • Make sure the doctor checks the kidneys regularly