March is National Kidney Month and March 11 is World Kidney Day, a time to raise global awareness of the increasing burden of kidney diseases and importance of kidney health.
This year’s theme of “Living Well with Kidney Disease” focuses on the 850 million people impacted around the world.
The theme this year parallels Northwest Kidney Centers’ mission: to promote the optimal health, quality of life, and independence of people with kidney disease through patient care, education, and research.
In short, our mission is to help people live well with kidney disease.
- Our patients partner with care teams and make treatment choices based on understanding their therapy options. They have access to all therapies and support in removing the barriers they get in the way of living.
- Our patients receive the gift of life – kidney transplants – at rates that are 60% higher than the rest of the nation.
- Our patients can participate in research that has already led to meaningful discoveries from the Kidney Research Institute, our collaboration with UW Medicine.
Northwest Kidney Centers promotes World Kidney Day goals every day of the year.
Kidney health is also an important goal of World Kidney Day. Some simple ways to support kidney health include:
- Eat less salt and processed food
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Stay active – 30 minutes 5 times a week
- Avoid long-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors include heart disease, smoking, family history of kidney disease, and being African American, Asian American or Native American. People who are overweight and those over age 60 are also at risk.
Kidney disease usually occurs without symptoms, so ask your doctor to check your kidney health, particularly if you are in a risk group.