What’s the key to keeping your kidneys healthy?

The University of Sheffield is hosting a series of health checks and lifestyle advice workshops at the Students' Union to mark World Kidney Day (9 March 2017).

Experts from the University’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health will be helping to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease, which causes more than 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, and provide vital advice on how to keep your kidneys healthy.

Our kidneys filter around 180 litres of blood of waste and toxins every day. Not only do they produce urine but they play a key role in blood pressure control, keeping bones strong and healthy and preventing anaemia.

Andrea Fox, from the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “World Kidney Day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about what the kidneys do and how to look after them.

“Kidneys do far more than filter the blood and produce urine. They help keep the bones healthy, maintain body pH, control blood pressure and ensure we have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.
“When the kidneys fail it has a profound effect on the individual physically, psychologically, socially and often financially.”

Health checks and kidney care advice will be available in the Students' Union Plaza between 1pm and 3pm today (Thursday 9 March 2017).

Albert Ong, Professor of Renal Medicine at the University, will also be taking his research lab on the road with a number of hands on experiments at a special public seminar from 5pm-7pm at the Medical Education Centre, Northern General Hospital.

Staff and students at the University’s Medical School will also be hosting health drop-in sessions along with a spin-bike-a-thon throughout the day in order to raise money for the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

Ways to improve kidney health include:

  • Monitor your Blood Pressure – High blood pressure accelerates kidney damage. To protect yourself from kidney disease you should also maintain a diet low in salt and saturated fats.
  • Keep well hydrated – This helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which can significantly lower the risk of developing kidney disease.
  • Keep fit and active – This helps reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of kidney disease.
  • Don’t smoke – Smoking slows blood flow to the kidneys, decreasing their ability to function properly.
  • Eat healthily and keep your weight in check – This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney disease.

For more information about World Kidney Day please visit http://www.worldkidneyday.co.uk/