World Kidney Day: Affinity Health Talks About Living With Kidney Disease
2021 has been declared the year of “Living Well with Kidney Disease”. With March being National Kidney Month and March 11 World Kidney Day, Affinity Health provides tips on how you can keep your kidneys healthy.
Shaped like beans, your kidneys are part of your urinary tract and responsible for an essential job – filtering your blood and removing waste, extra water, and acid in the form of urine.
Your kidneys work in tandem to filter about a half cup of blood every minute. They also make hormones that help control your blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep your bones strong and healthy. Without your kidneys, your body wouldn’t have the clean blood it needs to function properly.
Kidney disease is a silent killer that creeps up unexpectedly. Because the disease presents with very few symptoms, the diagnosis of kidney disease often comes late when there is little doctors can do to reverse the damage.
Signs of kidney disease may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness, sleep problems, changes in urination frequency, muscle twitches and cramps, and swelling of feet and ankles, but sometimes there are no apparent symptoms.
In South Africa, the two most common conditions that cause kidney disease are high blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes, both of which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Other causes are being overweight, viral infections, immune system diseases, cancers, drugs and toxins, and certain congenital disabilities.
“While some people are more predisposed to developing kidney disease than others – including those with a family history of the condition – there are a few ways you can help keep your kidneys happy and healthy,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“Arguably, two of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease is to have your blood pressure and blood sugar levels tested regularly. If either is persistently elevated, you should consult your doctor to discuss treatment options.”
Other ways to prevent kidney disease include:
- Keeping fit and being active
- Eating a healthy diet low in salt and sugar
- Drinking enough fluids
- Not smoking cigarettes
- Avoiding the overuse of anti-inflammatory/pain-killer pills
While certain forms of kidney disease are treatable and your doctor may be able to restore some of your kidney function, there is currently no cure for chronic kidney disease. Often, the goal is to ease symptoms, help keep the disease from getting worse, and lessen complications.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.