This week is Kidney Health Week with World Kidney Day falling on 10 March. Kidney disease affects 1.7 million people in Australia and on average, 63 people in Australia die every day from it, with a total of 1.5 million not even aware they had it.

Detecting the disease in time means that a patient can have a reduced risk of kidney failure and receive the right treatment and care. People can lose 90 per cent of kidney function without experiencing any visible symptoms, so early detection is paramount. The quickest and easiest way to detect any kidney disease is to have a Kidney Health Check with a doctor. 

CEO of Kidney Health Australia, Chris Forbes urged at-risk Australians to get tested during Kidney Health Wee

“Lockdowns have resulted in people not visiting medical professionals as often as they normally would,” he said.

“For those in a high-risk category, it is absolutely essential to stay on top of your kidney health by getting regular checks with your GP.”

Young people are also at risk. Luke from Adelaide was diagnosed with kidney disease very late at stage 5 at the age of just 23.
Fatigued and with a swollen foot, he waited six months on a dialysis machine before needing a kidney transplant which could have been avoided had it been detected earlier.

Luke said that when he was 18 he never would have known that he had kidney disease.

“I lost so many good years because I didn’t know what the signs or symptoms were,” he said.

“By the time I was diagnosed, I needed dialysis and a transplant. It would have only taken a simple blood test and everything could have been different.”

One in three Australians has an increased risk of kidney disease.

Leading risk factors for chronic kidney disease:

. Diabetes
. High blood pressure
. Smoking
. Obesity
. Family history
. Being over the age of 60, or aged over 30 and having a previous acute kidney injury or a history of heart problems.

Anyone who has recently experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms or any Australians who are in a high-risk category (such as those with diabetes and high blood pressure) should visit their local GP.

Kidney Health Week runs from 7 – 13 March 2022.

For more information about Kidney Disease, visit the Kidney Health Australia’s website

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