Week of March 27 – March 31, 2021
I’m happy to be devoting this week’s column to raise awareness to two very important causes for the month of March – “Help Fight Liver Disease Month” and “Kidney Health Month.” Awareness is essential to fighting diseases related to both the liver and kidneys and it is my hope that I too, can bring positive attention to these causes.
After conducting some research, I discovered that each day in Canada, an average of 14 people are told their kidneys have failed and approximately 1.9 million Canadians have chronic kidney disease. Most of these people don’t know it because the symptoms are silent.
I also learned that the three leading causes of kidney failure in new patients are: Diabetes (34 per cent), Renal Vascular Disease (19 per cent) and Glomerulonephritis (13 per cent). On the bright side, many cases of kidney failure can, in fact, be delayed or prevented by early detection and intervention. Organizations such as the Kidney Foundation of Canada provide various educational programs that inform people on the preservation of kidney function, as well as the management of conditions which may lead to kidney disease.
The Canadian Liver Foundation began “Help Fight Liver Disease Month” to recognize Canadians currently living with or those who are at risk of liver disease, and to remember those that have been lost to the disease. When researching this topic, I also discovered that one in five Canadians have no idea what functions the liver performs. The Foundation uses the month of March to hopefully end this lack of knowledge Canadians have with respect to the liver. In addition, this month is a perfect time to raise awareness about liver disease, as well as the resources that are available to those who suffer from it.
Liver disease can take over 100 different forms, therefore, it is incredibly important for Canadians to know about the disease and how to prevent it. I encourage people to become more informed on the functions of both the liver and kidneys, as well as associated diseases. This can be done through visiting the Canadian Liver Foundation’s website at http://www.liver.ca or by visiting the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s website at http://www.kidney.ca. By visiting these websites, you can access valuable information and contact the Foundations directly. I also encourage you to take the time this month, to recognize someone who is battling one of these diseases and let them know you care.