Renal Disease is a Worldwide Problem

Take a trip around the world, and you’d see some incredible things, and meet amazing people, all with their own unique story to tell. Take in the food, sights, sounds and culture. You’d learn a lot about the 7.5 billion people who populate the earth.

But you might not discover that 1 in 10 people in the world have renal disease. It’s a serious problem in Saudi Arabia and Belgium, where 24 percent of the population has renal disease. But it’s a problem in the United States and elsewhere too. Renal disease can have a negative impact on quality of life and be a costly medical condition to treat. That's why kidney disease awareness and knowledge about the risk factors and early detection are crucial.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to researchers at the World Congress on Nephrology. Researchers created an atlas of renal disease to help world leaders recognize it’s a global problem, and published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Once renal disease advances to total kidney failure, dialysis treatments or a transplant are typically the only available options to help those with this condition. But researchers believe that identifying renal disease early on, and taking action can prevent serious health events and minimize costly medical care later.

“A diagnosis of CKD does not mean that you will need dialysis or a transplant,” says President of the International Society of Nephrology Adeera Levin. “But [it] does signal that you are at risk for many health problems, including heart disease, strokes, and infections.”

If you have renal disease, it’s possible to protect your kidneys from further damage by controlling blood pressure, improving your diet, and making smart lifestyle choices. Researchers hope to spread this message to the world to help reduce the number of people who develop renal disease, lack proper care, and then develop kidney failure. Are you at risk for renal disease? Talk to your doctor about basic tests that can assess the health of your kidneys. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, heart disease, and age are primary factors linked to renal disease.

If you have renal disease, you may need medication to help protect the kidney function you have left. Making changes to your diet can help too. A Renal-Friendly diet is low in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. Need help eating the right foods to protect your health? Just check out the menu, and we’ll do the rest.