Amcal and Guardian Pharmacies are getting behind Kidney Health Week (May 24– 30), Kidney Health Australia’s national awareness campaign which is urging all Australians to meet their kidneys.
Approximately 1.7 million Australians have indicators of Chronic Kidney Disease, yet less than 10% realise they have the condition.
Meanwhile, the general population is largely unaware of the critical role the kidneys play in keeping the body healthy and the crucial need to get their kidneys checked every 12 months.
“Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers in community health, so bringing campaigns such as ‘meet your kidneys’ is so important in supporting the health of the community.”
Anne Wilson, CEO of Kidney Health Australia, says she believes the general public needs to be more aware of what their kidneys do.
“The kidneys are a vital organ – just like the heart, brain, or lungs – if they shut down, your body shuts down,” she says.
“It is time for Australians to meet their kidneys, understand the devastating impact that sick kidneys have on the body, and learn about the links between kidney disease and other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure – one of the most common causes of kidney disease.
“Prevention and early detection is critical, and I encourage all Australians – particularly those at increased risk – to speak to their GP or pharmacist about checking the health of their kidneys before it’s too late,” she says.
“All the team at Portland Amcal is committed to providing residents with the professional support they need to stay healthy,” says Mina Boutros, pharmacist manager at Portland Amcal.
“We want our residents to know that it is important to ‘meet your kidneys’ and look after them, and to learn about the risk factors and warning signs before it’s too late and they need to go onto dialysis, or get a kidney transplant.”
The exclusive KidneyCheckTM program available from Amcal, Amcal Max or Guardian pharmacies has been developed by Kidney Health Australia.
This self-management program has been designed for people with high blood pressure and diabetes and is a quick, easy way to monitor kidney health.
People can lose up to 90% of kidney function before experiencing any symptoms.
Warning Signs of Kidney Disease:
- high blood pressure;
- changes in the amount of and frequency urine is passed, colour of urine, or blood in the urine;
- pain in the kidney area;
- difficulty sleeping;
- loss of appetite;
- headaches and lack of concentration;
- nausea and vomiting;
- bad breath or metallic taste in the mouth; and/or
- shortness of breath.
In Australia, 56 people die with kidney-related disease every day, and more Australians die with diseases of the kidney and urinary tract each year than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, or even road deaths.