March 9, 2023 World Kidney Day


Chronic kidney disease has become a serious health problem in recent years, increasing like a pandemic all over the world. Every year, the second Thursday of March is celebrated as "World Kidney Day" to draw attention to the importance of this disease.

The theme of this year's World Kidney Day, which will be celebrated on March 9, focuses on "Healthy Kidneys for All". The fact that the awareness of the disease in the society is generally below 10% makes it difficult to detect in the early period and leads to progression to end-stage renal failure.

Prof. Dr. Belda Dursun, Head of the Department of Nephrology at PAU Hospital, made statements on the subject; When chronic kidney disease is not recognized and treated early, it can result in severe kidney failure, cardiovascular problems and death. The prevalence rate of chronic kidney disease worldwide is around 10-12% and this rate can be up to 14% in women. In a nationwide screening study conducted by the Turkish Society of Nephrology, the rate of chronic kidney disease in our country was found to be close to 16%. Uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, heart disease, obesity, advanced age, family history of kidney disease, smoking, frequent use of painkillers and urological problems (kidney stones, obstruction in the urinary tract) make people at high risk for kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease often progresses insidiously to the end stage, i.e. the dialysis stage, without symptoms. For this reason, it is important that everyone, especially those at risk, undergo regular health screening and have their kidney function checked at least once a year with simple blood and urine tests.

The most important and effective treatment of chronic kidney disease is prevention. At this point, preventive medicine approaches come to the fore. Especially in individuals with chronic kidney disease or who are at high risk in this respect, the protection of kidney function is extremely important. It is very important that kidney function is monitored by the physician and preventive measures are taken during the use of medications that pose a risk to the kidneys (some antibiotics and painkillers), during diagnostic or therapeutic imaging procedures (e.g. medicated tomography and angiography), before and after risky surgeries. Unnecessary and non-physician-controlled drug use should be avoided. In terms of kidney health, it is even more important not to dehydrate the kidneys and to pay attention to adequate water intake, especially for those living in hot climates.

All layers of society have a responsibility in the prevention of chronic kidney disease. It is especially important to prevent obesity, diabetes and hypertension in individuals starting from childhood. Avoiding unnecessary medication (especially painkillers), abandoning an excessively salty and high-calorie diet, drinking enough water, adopting regular exercise as a way of life, avoiding smoking and alcohol and having regular health checks are important in terms of preventing chronic kidney disease.

In summary, to prevent chronic kidney disease;

Exercise regularly
Eat healthy and maintain your ideal body weight
Reduce salt
Drink enough fluids
Do not smoke
Avoid pain medication
Have your blood pressure and blood sugar measured regularly
Have your kidneys checked regularly if you are in the risk group

Prof. Dr. Belda Dursun emphasized once again the importance of early diagnosis, stating that chronic kidney disease that cannot be diagnosed and treated early can progress to end-stage renal failure, at which stage dialysis and kidney transplantation treatments come to the agenda.

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