The Kidney Smart Campaign is an annual initiative to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating to protect our kidneys and heart.
The campaign takes place in March and encourages people to make Kidney Smart dietary and lifestyle choices.
What you should know about your kidneys
Unless you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease, you probably haven’t given much thought to your kidneys. You may not know that kidney health is closely related to heart health, and that your life depends on your kidneys. If they were to fail, you would need regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to survive.
In BC an estimated one in 10 people has some level of kidney disease, but most don’t even know it. Over 90 percent of people with early-stage kidney disease have no symptoms. Without diagnosis and treatment, this means their kidney health can gradually deteriorate over time until their kidneys no longer function properly.
Are you at risk of kidney disease?
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or a family history of kidney disease, you may be at risk of kidney disease. In fact, up to 40 percent of people with diabetes and 35 percent with heart disease also have some level of kidney disease. As well, people of Asian, Aboriginal, African and South Asian descent are at increased risk.
If kidney disease is diagnosed early, its progression can often be slowed and sometimes stopped through medication and changes to lifestyle and diet.
If you are in one of the risk categories listed above, talk to your family doctor about assessing your kidney health with a quick and easy blood test.
You can also find out more about your risk level for kidney disease by completing a kidney self-assessment.