As Malaysians, we prioritize our health and well-being above all else. However, sometimes, we overlook certain aspects of our health, which can lead to undiagnosed underlying health issues. One such overlooked aspect is kidney health. Kidneys are essential organs that play a vital role in removing waste products from the body, regulating blood pressure, and producing red blood cells. Therefore, maintaining good kidney health is crucial to our overall well-being. In this article, we will explore the importance of kidney health screenings in detecting underlying health issues in Malaysia.
Importance of Kidney Health
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine, just below the rib cage. They filter blood and remove waste products from the body, such as excess salt, water, and toxins. They also regulate the body’s fluid balance, maintain electrolyte levels, and produce hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells and regulate blood pressure. Therefore, it is essential to maintain good kidney health to prevent health complications.
Risk Factors for Kidney Disease
Several risk factors can lead to kidney disease, including:
- High blood pressure
- Family history of kidney disease
- Age above 60 years
People with these risk factors should undergo regular kidney health screenings to detect any underlying health issues early.
Kidney Health Screenings in Malaysia
Kidney health screenings are simple and non-invasive tests that can detect kidney problems early. The tests involve measuring the levels of creatinine and other waste products in the blood and urine. If the results are abnormal, further tests, such as imaging studies, may be required.
When Should You Get Screened?
The National Kidney Foundation recommends that people with risk factors for kidney disease undergo kidney health screenings annually. However, if you have a family history of kidney disease or other risk factors, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you may need to undergo more frequent screenings.
Where Can You Get Screened?
Kidney health screenings are available in most hospitals and clinics in Malaysia. You can also check with your family doctor or a nephrologist (kidney specialist) for recommendations.
The Link Between Kidney Health and Overall Health
Maintaining good kidney health is not just important for preventing kidney disease; it also plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Studies have shown that people with kidney disease are at an increased risk of developing other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, anemia, and bone disease.
- Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Studies have shown that people with kidney disease are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Therefore, maintaining good kidney health is crucial to prevent cardiovascular disease.
The kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. People with kidney disease may not produce enough erythropoietin, leading to anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
- Bone Disease
The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining bone health. People with kidney disease may develop bone disease due to a deficiency of vitamin D and calcium. This can lead to bone pain, fractures, and osteoporosis.
In conclusion, kidney health screenings are an essential aspect of maintaining good health in Malaysia. They can detect underlying health issues early, preventing complications and improving overall health. People with risk factors for kidney disease should undergo regular screenings and maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent kidney disease and other health problems.