Know Risks, Help Prevent Kidney Disease, Op-Ed
NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Susan MacNeil, manager, Nova Scotia Renal Program.
Kidney disease affects one in 10 Canadians. Most people living with it don't even know they have it.
As we mark World Kidney Day on Thursday, March 13, I wanted to remind all Nova Scotians that our kidneys should last for life.
Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and races. It is more common in people with diabetes and high blood pressure. It's also more common as we get older.
About 4,000 Nova Scotians are being treated for some degree of kidney disease.
In most cases, kidney disease is preventable. The key is in early detection and taking steps to reduce kidney damage.
You can lower your risk of getting kidney disease by:
- keeping fit and active
- controlling your blood sugar (if you have diabetes)
- monitoring and controlling your blood pressure
- keeping your weight under control by eating healthy
- not smoking
- limiting alcohol intake
- avoiding long-ACterm use of anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen
You can lose most of your kidney function before having any symptoms, so knowing your risk factors is very important. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, are overweight, over the age of 50, have a family history of kidney disease, or are of Aboriginal, African, Asian, South Asian, or Hispanic descent, you are at increased risk for kidney disease.
The Nova Scotia Renal Program, a provincial program of the Department of Health and Wellness, is committed to raising awareness of kidney disease. If you are at increased risk for kidney disease, follow steps to lower your risk, talk to your family doctor and have your blood pressure and kidney function checked regularly.