World Kidney Day is March 9

World Kidney Day is March 9, 2017.  On World Kidney Day, we want people to know how important kidneys are, and that there are ways to help to keep our kidneys healthy.  The theme of World Kidney Day this year is obesity and kidney disease.  Obesity is excessive fat that may impair health.  Obese individuals have an 83% increased risk of Kidney Disease, compared to individuals with a healthy weight.  By losing weight, an obese person can improve their health and decrease his or her risk of kidney disease. 

Kidneys are important organs.  Our kidneys do the following jobs:

• filter blood to remove extra fluid and wastes from the body
• help control blood pressure
• help make red blood cells and maintain healthy bones

Kidney disease, or damage to the kidneys, is often a long-term complication of either high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes.  If this damage worsens over the years, it can progress to Kidney Failure.  If a person has Kidney Failure, he or she will need a kidney transplant or dialysis to stay alive. Per patient, per year, hemodialysis costs over $85,000. In the Prairie Mountain Health region, there are 4 hemodialysis units.  They are located in Brandon, Dauphin, Russell, and Swan River.  Each hemodialysis treatment lasts about 4 hours.  Patients need 3 treatments each week.  In Manitoba, there are over 1200 patients on in-hospital hemodialysis.  There are also 350 people doing dialysis treatments in their homes.  Being obese may hurt your health.  Obese people are more likely to have high blood pressure and are also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.  80% of cases of type 2 diabetes occur in people that are obese.  In 2014, worldwide over 600 million adults were obese.  The last community health assessment (2015) found that in our health region, Prairie Mountain Health, 24% of adults were obese. Strategies for weight loss also decrease your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and will reduce the chance of developing kidney disease. 

Be kind to you kidneys.  Try to fit some of the suggestions below into your day.

• Keep fit and active.  Try 20-30 minutes of activity daily
• Manage your blood sugar levels
• Monitor your blood pressure
• Enjoy healthy eating and keep your weight in check
• Maintain a healthy fluid intake
• Do not smoke
• Get your kidneys checked if you have one or more of the high-risk factors. High-risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. 

Before making major changes to the amount or type of exercises you do, please check with your doctor or nurse practitioner.  For more information about World Kidney Day visit:

 If you would like help with weight loss, managing Type 2 diabetes, or high blood pressure, please call the Prairie Mountain Health Chronic Disease Education program at 1- 877- 509- 7852.