Questions for you: Do you skip meals? Do you eat too much junk food? Are you not drinking enough water? Is your body health and lifestyle overall not walking in sync? These are all questions we ask ourselves or ponder at one point or another. BUT did you know how all of these could be affecting your kidneys? The 2nd Thursday March has been designated as World Kidney Day to raise awareness about the health of the kidney. It is possible to live a long and disease-free life by taking care of your kidneys. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease {NIDDK}, chronic kidney disease {CKD}affects more than 1 in 7 U.S. adults; about 37 million Americans.  90% of Americans suffering from kidney disease are completely unaware they have the asymptomatic disease. Americans with diabetes or high blood pressure have the two most common causes of kidney disease and therefore, the risk for CKD is even greater. Other risks include obesity and a family history of kidney disease. Nearly 33% of people with diabetes and 20% of people with high blood pressure have kidney disease. Last year, there were 42,888 kidney transplants and today, there are 104,098 people on the waiting list for a viable kidney. 

Here is some kidney knowledge: Being born with 2 kidneys is normal and there are exceptions of people only having one. Your body requires at least one healthy kidney to function properly and without it, the easiest tasks are turned into mountainous assignments. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine.The function of the kidneys is the removal of wastes and extra fluid from your body. Your kidneys also remove acid that is produced by the cells of your body and maintain a healthy balance of water, salts, and mineral such as sodium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus in your blood. Without this balance, nerves, muscles, and other tissues in your body may not work normally. Your kidneys also make hormones that help control your blood pressure, make red blood cells as well as keep your bones strong and healthy. If you experience kidney failure, treatments include kidney transplant or dialysis. Other kidney problems include acute kidney injury, kidney cysts, kidney stones, and kidney infections. 

Tips to keep your kidneys in optimal health:

Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, watch your weight, no smoking, minimal alcohol, drink plenty of water, watch your stress, take care of your diabetes, high blood pressure and your heart and always check with your physician on the health of your vital organs.

Don’t let one of your silent vital organs become one of the loudest enemies to your health.

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