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March 14, 2024 is World Kidney Day 



World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys and their role in our overall health. The goal is to reduce the frequency & impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. World Kidney Day is observed annually on the 2nd Thursday in March.


Our kidneys are amazing organs! They filter toxins, help control our blood pressure, help produce red blood cells, maintain bone health and so much more. A kidney contains around one million tiny filters, called nephrons.  Nephrons are super tiny filtering units which helps to remove waste products from your blood to your urine, to be excreted.  These little filters also help to control the amount of minerals, salt and water in our bodies.  A lot of responsibilities for something the size of our fist!  The kidneys are located deep in the abdomen, beneath the rib cage.


Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. When nephrons (filtering units) become damaged, they stop filtering. If the damage continues, more filtering units shut down and can lead to a build up of waste products in your blood.  At a certain point, the nephrons that remain cannot filter your blood well enough to keep you healthy. Often the progression of CKD is silent. People do not experience symptoms until the damage is extensive.  This is why it is important to see your Primary Care Provider or Diabetes Educators on a regular basis, so you can have labwork done and they can monitor your kidney function.  Kidney disease can be treated.  The earlier it is identified, the easier it is to treat and control.


Diabetes and Kidney Disease


Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney disease as high blood sugars in addition to high blood pressure, damage the filtering units in these organs. CKD that has been caused by Diabetes is referred to as Diabetic Nephropathy.  Early detection and management can help slow the progression of this decline. There are several new medications that are effective in this effort, in addition to the cornerstones of a healthy diet and good blood sugar control.



What can you do if you have diabetes?


  1. Ask your healthcare professional if blood or urine tests have been done to check your kidney function
  2. Check your blood sugar levels often.  Work with your Primary Care Provider and Diabetes Educators to achieve good glucose control
  3. Monitor your blood pressure at home and report the results to your Primary Care Providers and Diabetes Educators
  4. Eat a healthy diet that is lower in salt
  5. When ill, ensure you stay hydrated and follow Diabetes Sick Day guidelines
  6. If you smoke, try to quit
  7. Stay physically active, aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week
  8. Take medications as presribed
  9. Ask any questions you have to better understand these tests and how you can make a difference


What should my targets be? 


For most people:

  • Your A1c result (3 month average blood sugar) should be 7 % or below
  • Your blood pressure should be 130/80 or below
  • Your eGFR greater than 60 ml/min
  • Your Albumin Creatine Ratio should be less that 2 mg/mmol

Talk to your health care provider to review your individual targets, your most recent A1c and kidney function results.



For more information on kidney disease and diabetes:


Diabetes Canada: www.diabetes.ca/managing-my-diabetes/preventing-complications/kidney-disease

Canadian Kidney Foundation: kidney.ca/

‘Spice it Up’ for recipe ideas that are diabetes and kidney friendly: www.myspiceitup.ca


Click here for more information about World Kidney Day.



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