Kidney Health

Healthy kidneys help the body by removing waste and extra water, and keeping the blood clean and chemically balanced ref=28715. Kidney health can be maintained by:

  • having regular blood pressure checks
  • leading an active lifestyle
  • eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables that is also low in salt and sugar
  • drinking water instead of sugary drinks
  • maintaining healthy bodyweight
  • not smoking tobacco or drinking a lot of alcohol
  • if someone has diabetes, monitoring blood glucose levels and staying within targets  ref=28715.

If the kidneys stop working properly – as is the case when someone has kidney disease – waste can build up in the blood and damage the body. ‘Kidney disease’, ‘renal disease’ and ‘renal disorder’ are all terms that refer to diseases that involve damage to the kidneys ref=15040.

Kidney disease is a serious health problem for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tend to be diagnosed at younger ages than non-Indigenous people, and severe kidney disease is more common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than non-Indigenous people ref=33151. In particular, chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease are reported at significantly higher levels among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than among other Australians. Dialysis, a way to manage kidney disease where blood is filtered by a machine, is the most common reason for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to go to the hospital ref=33073.

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Watiya-warnu Jukurrpa (Seed Dreaming) by Evelyn Nangala Robertson

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