More than 50 years ago, a mother named Ada DeBold started a research foundation to bring hope to her son. Today, the group — which became the National Kidney Foundation — works to raise awareness of the important work our kidneys do for our bodies on a daily basis.
From filtering waste from the bloodstream to helping make red blood cells, your kidneys play an important role in maintaining your health. Learn how to be kind to your kidneys while you help raise awareness about kidney health during National Kidney Awareness Month.
Be a Food Coach
The foods you eat can influence how you feel. For those following a low-oxalate diet, these foods are part of your daily diet, but the knowledge you have gained can help others. Some tips for being a food coach include:
- Sharing photos of your low-oxalate snacks and kidney-friendly meals with friends on social media
- Planning a dinner party with kidney-friendly dishes
- Explaining how specific fruits and vegetables are better for your kidneys than others
Water accounts for about 50 and 70% of our body weight and helps our organs function properly. Researchers have found that even a 1% loss in hydration can negatively affect your mood, memory, and coordination, as well as your kidney health. Hydration can come in a variety of forms, and the recommended daily fluid amount varies from person to person. As a general rule, about 80% should come from beverages — including water, juice, coffee and milk — and the additional 20% of the foods you eat. Choose foods like Iceberg lettuce, cucumber, cantaloupe, and watermelon, which are low-oxalate foods that can provide an extra boost of hydration. You can also try to make drinking water fun; try some of these tips for adding more water to your diet.
Participate in National Kidney Awareness Month
Thanks to the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Kidney Foundation, and other world organizations, March is the easiest time to help raise awareness about kidney health. Participating in some of the numerous events presented by these organizations both in-person and online can help more people learn about the importance of keeping kidneys functioning. Some of these events include:
- Hosting a kidney awareness event with your community
- Sharing posts from the National Kidney Foundation’s Twitter or Facebook
- Encouraging friends and family to take the online kidney quiz from the National Kidney Foundation
- Joining a Kidney Walk team in your area
- Participating in World Kidney Day on Thursday, March 8, using the hashtag #WorldKidneyDay
When you know better, you can do better. Spend this National Kidney Awareness Month helping us celebrate all that our kidneys do for our bodies each day, and spreading the kidney health message to the world.