Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Residents are being cautioned to be aware of the impact that their lifestyles can have on their kidney health as the Territory joins the rest of the world in observing World Kidney Day.
Charge Nurse Ms. Loveth Laudat and Nurse Sharlene Samuels in a BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Report spoke about the impact of kidney disease locally and the importance of making good lifestyle decisions.
According to the nurses, diet, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and not complying with blood pressure and diabetes management strategies are all factors that contribute to the deterioration of the kidney.
Nurse Samuel said the kidneys are so efficient that it is usually a long time before there are obvious signs that something is wrong. “Often times the damage goes unnoticed until they end up in the emergency room,” she said.
Nurse Samuel stated that out of the consistent 51 persons that access care in the Dialysis Unit, over 60% are persons in their 20s to late 50s. She said there is also a physiological impact for persons on dialysis. “To come to dialysis three times a week every week, your lifestyle changes your routine changes, you dedicate three days a week to sit to have a treatment for up to 4 to 5 hours. It is very debilitating and sometimes they have issues coping,” she added.
The health professionals agreed that uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure are the biggest causes of kidney disease, and they are encouraging persons to improve their kidney health through exercise, monitoring their blood pressure, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping hydrated and having their kidney function checked annually.
They added that the kidneys are one of the most important organs as it rids the body of excess water and toxins, regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep bones strong.
World Kidney Day is observed annually on March 14 and its goal is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. This year’s theme is “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere.”
Persons can tune into ZBVI on Tuesday March 19 at 9:00 a.m. to hear part two of the interview with Nurses Laudat and Samuels to learn more about kidney health.
BVI Health Services Authority is committed to delivering excellent, compassionate, client centered healthcare across the Territory.