National Kidney Month

National Kidney Month is celebrated yearly during the entire month of March. Its purpose is one of information and education, to ensure that people are aware of the importance of learning about this disease that causes so much physical and moral harm. National Kidney Month is a great occasion to get involved and get educated on the basics of this disease. Everyone can do something to make a change in this world be it just one person, a family, a group of people or a community, an organization or a business.

March is upon us, and I would like to raise the awareness of the importance of living a healthy life and protecting yourself from one of the most widespread conditions – chronic kidney disease, as well as many other kidney associated conditions. 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. Major risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older. Kidney disease often has no symptoms, and it can go undetected until very advanced.

Kidneys are two life essential organs that have several major functions in the body – removing waste from the blood, balancing the blood pressure as well as maintaining a balanced blood pH. Often, patients are not aware of their condition until they advance in age. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is one of the most common conditions. However, there is some other kidneys related issues such as kidney stones, cysts, cancer, infections and, worst of all, kidney failure. But a simple urine test can tell you if you have kidney disease. Remember, it’s important to get tested because early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.

Patients who have chronic kidney disease are advised to stick to a healthy lifestyle. This is a priority to be respected during any treatment. Without a healthy lifestyle, no treatment plan would work properly. However when it comes to more severe cases of kidney related problems like kidney failure – patients need to undergo difficult interventions such as dialysis or even kidney transplant. This occurs when the kidneys stop working properly for more than 85%.

You can protect your kidneys by preventing or managing health conditions that cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The steps described below may help keep your whole body healthy, including your kidneys. Choose foods that are healthy for your heart and your entire body: fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Eat healthy meals, and cut back on salt and added sugars. Aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. Try to have less than 10 percent of your daily calories come from added sugars.

Today´s statistics is alarming. More and more people all over the world get afflicted by this terrible disease that might as well have dreadful health implications. Very few people figure out that they have a chronic kidney disease until they consult their doctor on this matter. That is why National Kidney Month is a great occasion to spread the knowledge. Also, it is a great way to support the patients on their journey to recovery.

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and