Diseases Affecting the Kidney Are Common

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Byline: By Madeleine Brindley Western Mail

Most of us will know what dialysis is, but few of us have little understanding of kidney disease. As Thursday marks World Kidney Day, Dr Adekunle Adesina, a consultant nephrologist at Morriston Hospital explains

THE kidney is an amazing organ which plays a crucial role in keeping us alive and well.

Each kidney is roughly the size of two fists and are located deep in our abdomen, beneath our ribcage, on each side of the lower part of the spine.

Disease of the kidney, of varying degrees, affect one in 10 adults in the UK, as in the rest of the world.

World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) - it aims to raise awareness about the importance of our kidneys and to spread the message that kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable.

Wales will join other countries of the world in marking World Kidney Day on Thursday and on Sunday the Kidney Wales Foundation is holding the Walk for Life across Wales in order to raise vital funds to help fight kidney disease in Wales.

The main job of our kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood. They also help to control our blood pressure, the levels of salt and other minerals, to produce red blood cells and to keep our bones healthy.

People with high blood pressure, diabetes, and others whose relatives have kidney disease are more likely to develop kidney disease.

If our kidneys gradually lose their ability to function, we speak of chronic kidney disease, which affects many more people than we would ever imagine - studies have consistently shown that about one in 10 adults has some form of kidney damage.

The risk of premature death, primarily from cardiovascular disease is, on average, 100 times higher in patients with chronic kidney disease than the risk of developing end-stage renal disease. …