For the 8th annual World Kidney Day, Canadians are urged to learn the symptoms and treatment options for kidney disease.
“People with diabetes or hypertension, over the age of 60 or with a family history of kidney disease are at higher risk of progressing to chronic kidney disease,” says Dr. Damien Belisle, nephrologist at CSSS de Chicoutimi (a nephrologist is a medical specialist who deals with kidneys.) “These patients should undergo screening and talk to their doctor about this disease regardless of whether they display symptoms or not.”
“Early detection of chronic kidney disease, by a simple blood and urine test, can dramatically affect how long you can preserve kidney function, what treatment options you have and the quality of life you will experience while living with the disease.”
The human kidney works to remove waste and fluids from the body. As kidney disease progresses, the kidneys work less and less effectively. If detected early, lifestyle changes and selected medications can preserve kidney function for a longer period of time. If the disease progresses, in order to survive, people living with kidney disease must depend on renal replacement therapies to make up for lost kidney function, usually in the form of dialysis or transplantation.
In 2010, a third of the people who died waiting for organs were waiting for a kidney- 82 in all.
“We are calling on everyone, individual citizens and elected officials alike, to mobilize in order to increase the number of transplants and reduce the number of people who die while awaiting a transplant. This situation is unacceptable,” said Christopher Gobeil, President of the Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
The Kidney Foundation of Canada estimates 2.6 million Canadians either have or are at risk for kidney disease.