March is All About Kidneys: An Interview with “Mr. Kidney”
March is National Kidney Month and March 12 is World Kidney Day. What’s a more appropriate time than now to sit down with Mr. Kidney for an interview?
Did you know kidneys have a special month and a special day?
Yes! March is National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day is March 12, 2015. Around the world on March 12, communities will work together to raise awareness of how important kidneys are to good health. Individuals are encouraged to take action, invest in kidney screenings and be aware of just how critical kidneys are.
Mr. Kidney, why are you so important to the human body?
Healthy kidneys work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to clean the body’s blood. Kidneys also receive 20-25 percent of all the blood pumped by the heart. The body’s total blood supply circulates through the kidneys about 12 times an hour. Every day, our kidneys filter about 50 gallons of blood through 140 miles of renal tubes.
I know you’re a hard worker, Mr. Kidney. What happens when you get burnt out or sick?
Sadly, people develop chronic kidney disease (CKD). This is a progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. When kidney function falls below a certain point, it is called kidney failure. Kidney failure affects your whole body and can make you feel very sick.
How many people are waiting for you, Mr. Kidney?
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are 101,500 people waiting for a kidney transplant. In Texas alone, there are 9,589 people waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant. Data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that as of February 2015, there are 2,480 African-Americans, 4,690 Hispanics, 2,061 Caucasians and 358 Asians on Texas’ kidney transplant waiting list.
Mr. Kidney, what can we do to help?
Take preventive measures: Take care of your kidneys by getting a kidney screening, controlling your body weight, increasing physical activity, reducing salt intake to lower blood pressure, and controlling high blood pressure if you have it. Drink water, and lots of it, especially on March 12 to show your support in the fight against the CKD epidemic!