March is National Kidney Month, and it’s the best time to show your appreciation for these bean-shaped organs that do so much. Located on each side of the spine, just below the ribs, the kidneys are primarily responsible for filtering blood and removing extra fluid from the body. A healthy kidney is just about the size of a fist, and yet it’s capable of filtering half a cup of blood every minute. These organs are vital to life, meaning one cannot live without them. It’s no wonder, then, that functioning kidneys deserve a hefty amount of appreciation.
On top of celebrating kidneys, National Kidney Month is also the best time to draw attention to the issues that affect the kidneys and prevent them from doing their important tasks. Chronic kidney disease (CKD), for instance, is a very common condition in the US. About 15% of the adult population–which means 1 in 7 people or 37 million Americans–have this condition. And yet, as many as 9 out of 10 people who have CKD are not aware that they have this condition. Now is a good opportunity to show your support for the cause by making people more aware of this and other common yet often overlooked kidney problems. Here’s how you can do just that.
One of the many ways you can support kidney issues is by starting conversations about kidney health. The most casual way of doing this is by wearing your cause on your person. You can put on T-shirts, caps, rubber bracelets, or socks that celebrate National Kidney Month, for instance. These can help draw attention to the cause you’re standing up for and even help spark conversations that focus on kidney health, disease, or research. If you’re the entrepreneurial type and you want to donate to organizations that directly deal with kidney issues, you can even sell these accessories and direct the profits to relevant charities and research organizations.
Aside from starting conversations, it’s also important to arm yourself with the right information about kidney issues. Many people will be curious about the common symptoms of kidney conditions, and they’ll likely be eager to see if they exhibit any of these. Let’s say you want to raise awareness of the fact that CKD is rampant but massively under-detected among the adult population in the US. You have to be ready to help people think about whether or not they should get their kidneys checked, just in case. The same is true for other common kidney conditions. Being aware of the symptoms of kidney disease and sharing your knowledge with others can help your friends and family members seek medical help and receive early intervention.
A significant portion of celebrating your kidneys is making conscious efforts to keep these organs in the best possible condition. You can do that by taking note of your peeing habits and the quality of your urine, making healthy food choices, and incorporating habits such as exercising and sleeping well that contribute to a person’s overall health. If you do the groceries for your household, you can talk about making healthier choices when it comes to food and drinks with the rest of your family. This way, your family members will also be aware of the small changes and choices they need to do daily to care for their kidneys better.
It’s also important to show up or even organize events that demonstrate your support for causes that impact kidney health. For instance, you can join events that benefit people who have kidney conditions and those who are working tirelessly to improve their health and overall outlook. Alternatively, you can take part in activities that help people maintain their kidney health. Physical activity, for one, has a positive impact on one’s kidneys. To promote exercising in your community, you can join walking running, cycling, or even hiking events. You can even organize an event yourself and highlight the impact of exercise on one’s kidneys to the participants.
It can be a challenge to appreciate the value of having healthy kidneys until they’re gone, but this month is a good month to start doing just that. Use the opportunity to celebrate the hardworking bean-shaped organs in your body and help them stay in peak form by taking steps to keep them healthy. While you’re at it, encourage the people around you to do the same thing by following the tips on this list. This way, the community you live in is less likely to suffer from kidney diseases and its residents can immediately seek help for kidney issues should they develop one.
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