On this World Kidney Day, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, joins organizations around the world in highlighting the importance of this year’s theme, “Kidney Health for Everyone, Everywhere.”
Kidneys serve a vital role by filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood and maintaining a healthy balance of water, salts, and minerals. However, too often, we only think about them when something goes wrong. More than 30 million American adults may have chronic kidney disease, an irreversible condition, but most do not know they have it. This is especially true for people in the early stages of kidney disease, which often has no symptoms.
NIDDK is committed to improving kidney health for everyone through research and education. The NIDDK-supported ReBuilding a Kidney consortium is conducting foundational research that we hope will lead to treatments to repair or replace damaged tissues and restore kidney function. NIDDK’s Kidney Precision Medicine Project aims to collect and analyze kidney samples from a broad range of people in an effort to identify targeted treatments for kidney damage from chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury.
NIDDK is also funding several pragmatic trials, which are studies done as part of regular care. One large pragmatic trial, Improving Chronic Disease Management with Pieces, is testing an approach to improve care for people with diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease in four health systems and more than 10,000 people.
We at NIDDK invite you to join us in raising awareness about the importance of kidney health. With better awareness, we may be able to diagnose more cases of kidney disease earlier. And with earlier diagnosis, you or your loved ones with kidney disease stand a better chance of slowing the disease’s progress and preventing or delaying life-threatening kidney failure.
This World Kidney Day, take action to protect kidney health:
- Know your risk. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney failure, you are at higher risk of kidney problems.
- Get tested. People with early-stage kidney disease usually have no symptoms. If you know you are at higher risk for kidney disease, ask your health care provider how to protect your kidney health.
- Talk to family and friends. Whether you have kidney disease, one of the risk factors, or are simply concerned, discuss it with a friend or family member. Our Family Reunion Health Guide has ideas for discussing this topic with family members, and our Kidney Sundays initiative offers resources to help start the conversation at places of worship.
Get free, evidence-based information about kidney disease and how to keep your kidneys healthy at www.niddk.nih.gov.
This article has been republished from materials provided by the National Institutes of Health. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.