What a weird old day today is. So for those who don’t know, it’s World Kidney Day. It’s like there’s a day for everything. But you know what, I dig this day. I fully support a day where we talk about kidneys and their impact.
For me, kidneys are a more regular talking point than for most I imagine. That’s because I live with 2 different kidney conditions. I don’t really talk about this too much, but days like this remind me that I SHOULD and MUST talk about things likes this. Mainly to raise awareness and just get people talking about it. It’s OK to talk.
The first, and main overarching issue that I live with, is something called PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease). Now many people have probably heard of Polycystic Ovaries, but not so much of PKD. To be honest, it’s a fairly similar deal. Big ol’ unwelcome cysts taking residence in and outside of your organ, being a right little pain in the arse to be honest.
We’ll get back to PKD momentarily, but the second thing for me (and probably even more of a pain in my arse right now) is kidney stones. Now these stones have been taking up residence in my body for quite a while now, but they’re just slightly too small to be blitzed but still big enough to cause me real pain and general daily irritation. Oh FYI, if you get abdominal pain don’t ignore it until you’re being carted off in an ambulance thinking you’re going to die. Just… not that I’ve done that or anything… just some friendly advice… For now I’m just living with them chilling in my body, and recently had a CT scan (low dose cause I’ve had so many of the pesky things, they’re worried about radiation), to see where they’re currently chilling, and what the next steps are.
Now back to PKD. There are a few different types of PKD, but for me, mine is hereditary. Unfortunately a few other members of my family have this, and to be honest, it sucks. It’s not a nice disease, (please don’t google images, just trust me on this). The prognosis is pretty bleak, we’re talking dialysis and transplant. Funding for kidney diseases, especially PKD is pretty naff to be honest with you, so talking about it and raising awareness is so so important.
So what can we do?
Firstly, kidney health is super important. Obviously things like hereditary diseases can’t be avoided, but there are things you can do to improve your kidney health:
The below list has been taken from the World Kidney Day Website:
- “Monitor your Blood Pressure – High blood pressure accelerates kidney damage. To protect yourself from kidney disease you should also maintain a diet low in salt and saturated fats.
- Keep fit and active – This helps reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of kidney disease.
- Don’t smoke – Smoking slows blood flow to the kidneys, decreasing their ability to function properly.
- Eat healthily and keep your weight in check – This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney disease.
- Get your kidney function tested – If anyone in your family has suffered from kidney disease, you are diabetic or have high blood pressure.
- Keep well hydrated – This helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which can significantly lower the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. (Dialysis patients however may need to restrict their fluid intake.)”
Also if you want to get involved and raise funds, that’s super cool too! A couple of years ago I swam in open water to raise money for The PKD Charity. It was intense, but so rewarding.
If you’ve read this whole post, then thank you so much! I appreciate the support and here’s to healthy kidneys and finding cures through research! 🙂