According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, 2.6 million Canadians have kidney disease or are at risk of developing it. Kidney health is important because kidneys are essential for:
- Filtering waste and toxins from the bloodstream
- Producing hormones for regulating blood pressure and red blood cell production
- Ensuring normal blood value ranges of electrolytes.
Some people are more susceptible to kidney disease than others. The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. A person with diabetes may have injured blood vessels in the kidneys which results in unfiltered blood. With high blood pressure, the heart is forced to work harder, and work overtime, which also will damage blood cells and the kidneys. Kidney disease usually progresses slowly, and damages many of the kidneys' functions before the person experiences symptoms. It is important to watch for the following signs of kidney disease:
- Puffiness of the eyes, hands and feet
- Passage of bloody, cloudy urine
- Presence of protein in urine
- Excessive foaming of urine
- Frequent passing of urine during the night
- Passing less urine or difficulty passing urine
- Loss of appetite or weight
- Persistent generalized itching
It is also important to know that kidneys can be compromised in the workplace. Nephrotoxicity is a poisonous effect of some substances on the kidneys. Toluene and Stoddard are two very common solvents, and tin compound is a metal that could contribute to kidney tubular damage and renal failure. In support of National Kidney Month, MSDS Binders recommends that you include kidney health into your Health and Safety meeting.
For more kidney education resources, please visit: The Kidney Foundation of Canada