SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- This month, and Thursday especially, health officials are looking to bring awareness to the importance of our kidneys.
It's World Kidney Day. It started back in 2006. The World Kidney Day Steering Committee has declared 2021 the year of "Living Well with Kidney Disease".
According to WorldKidneyDay.Org kidney disease currently affects around 850 million people worldwide and one in ten adults has chronic kidney disease.
Our kidneys filter all of the waste and toxins out of the body. They're also important for fluid regulation, helping you to maintain electrolytes, controlling your blood pressure, and keeping your bones healthy.
"A lot of times you may have a gradual decline in the kidney function and might not know it," said Alisa Olson, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Physician. "That's why it's important to see your primary care doctor. So they can help monitor it. But, if you're noticing swelling that hasn't been there before, if you're feeling tired or weak, those are all things to see your doctor for and I would certainly check your kidneys to see if they're working properly."
Olson said there are several things you can do to help your kidneys function better. That can include medications, drinking more fluids, or possibly taking you off other medications.