World Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising mindfulness of the importance of the kidneys.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. Every day, they filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.
The kidneys are important because they keep the composition of the blood stable, which lets the body function properly. The organs prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body, keep levels of electrolytes stable, make hormones that help regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells, and help bones stay strong.
The overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease, a condition that causes reduced kidney function over a period of time, in the U.S. is about 14 percent, data show. It has remained relatively stable since 2004. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure; of them, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
Kidney diseases fall into the category of “silent killers.” They affect your quality of life, but many people attribute the symptoms to other milder conditions and don’t know their organs are not healthy. People can prevent that from happening to them by following easy steps to reduce the risk of developing an illness.