Doctors at Swindon’s private healthcare provider Shalbourne are urging people to check out their risk of developing kidney disease so that they can benefit from an early diagnosis.
Thursday 14 March is World Kidney Day, which every year raises awareness of our kidneys, the important role they play, and when to get them checked out.
Worldwide, chronic kidney disease affects one in ten people, rising to half in all individuals over 75. Although people often overlook them, the kidneys are complicated and amazing organs that do many essential tasks to keep us healthy.
The principle role of kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood. They help to control blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep our bones healthy. Every single day, our kidneys control the blood stream levels of many minerals and molecules and help to control blood acidity.
Unfortunately, most people in the early stages of chronic kidney disease go undiagnosed. World Kidney Day is a perfect opportunity for everyone to check if they are at risk of kidney disease and to encourage people with any risk factors to take a kidney function test.
Simple tests can be carried out using small samples of blood and urine, which a patient’s GP can use to estimate overall kidney function, and to check for diabetes.
Risk factors for kidney disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, a family history of renal problems, and being of African, Hispanic, Aboriginal or Asian origin. The Shalbourne Suite has clinics for patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.
Treatment typically depends on the cause and severity of kidney disease. A number of disorders affecting the kidney can be treated or controlled with the help of medications.
In a minority of patients affected by kidney disease, unavoidable loss of kidney function over time, despite optimal treatment, might mean that the role of the kidneys needs to be replaced, using treatments such as dialysis or transplantation. The key factor is to get early diagnosis and treatment.
Shalbourne is located on the same site as Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, and its profits are invested back into the NHS, benefiting the health and wellbeing of everyone in nearby communities.