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The Green Ribbon and Kidney Disease

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Kidney disease awareness is represented by the Green Ribbon. Those with kidney disease, also those on dialysis, patients who received a kidney transplant, or those who gave the gift of life and are living kidney donors wear the Green Ribbon to help raise awareness for kidney disease.

Although the main color of Kidney Disease Awareness is traditional green other forms of kidney disease and diseases that cause kidney failure are other colors.

Kidney Cancer- Orange

The kidney ribbon that represents kidney cancer is orange, the color orange was chosen to represent Kidney Cancer because orange is a vibrant and attention-getting color. The orange ribbon is a reminder that those affected by kidney cancer are not alone, and that there is strength in numbers.

Renal cancer, or kidney cancer, affects the kidneys. Renal cell carcinoma, which develops in the cells lining the tubules of the kidney, is the most prevalent kind of kidney cancer. Blood in the urine, an abdominal mass, chronic pain, and weight loss are all possible signs. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and a family history of kidney cancer are all risk factors. Surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a hybrid of these could all be part of the treatment plan. Overall health and cancer's stage at diagnosis has the biggest roles in determining the outlook. The prognosis for a patient's treatment improves significantly if they are diagnosed early.

Polycystic Kidney Disease - Teal Blue

The teal blue ribbon is the symbol of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). PKD is a genetic disorder that affects the kidneys. It is a chronic, progressive disease that can lead to kidney failure. There are two types of PKD: autosomal dominant PKD and autosomal recessive PKD. Teal is chosen as the color for the ribbon because it represents hope, courage, and strength; all qualities needed to fight this disease.

In polycystic kidney disease (PKD), cysts filled with fluid form on the kidneys, leading to their enlargement and eventual destruction. Kidney failure is a possible outcome of PKD, a progressive, chronic condition. Autosomal dominant PKD and autosomal recessive PKD are the two subtypes of PKD. The most typical form of PKD is autosomal dominant, and it is caused by a change in a single gene. It's possible to get it from just one parent, or it could develop on its own. Autosomal recessive PKD is more unusual and occurs when an individual gets a defective gene from both parents. A variety of symptoms, such as hypertension, stomach pain, blood in the urine, and kidney infections, may indicate the presence of PKD. Imaging studies or genetic testing are often used to make the diagnosis. Medications to control symptoms, modifications in diet and exercise routine, and, in severe situations, dialysis or a kidney transplant may all be used to treat PKD. Read more about PKD HERE

Lupus – Purple

The Lupus Foundation of America has designated the month of May as Lupus Awareness Month to help bring attention to this chronic and often debilitating disease. One way you can show your support for those living with lupus is to wear the purple ribbon. The color purple has been chosen as the official color of lupus awareness because it represents all colors, just like lupus affects all people regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity.

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system inappropriately assaults healthy cells and tissues, causing chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Lupus has a complex etiology that likely involves interactions between genetics, the environment, and the body's hormones, however, researchers have yet to pinpoint a single cause. While lupus can affect any organ or tissue in the body, it most often manifests in the skin, joints, and internal organs like the kidneys, heart, and brain. Lupus symptoms are diverse and may include any of the following: high body temperature, pain in the joints, a rash, extreme tiredness, and even hair loss. Although lupus cannot be cured, it can be controlled via the use of medicines and behavioral modifications. The goals of treatment are to alleviate painful inflammation, forestall more flares, and protect the affected organs from further harm. One's prognosis after being diagnosed with lupus will depend on the severity of the disease and the patient's general condition.

Diabetes – Blue or Blue and Grey with a drop of blood in the center.

The ribbon for diabetes is a very important symbol. It represents hope, awareness, and support for those who are living with the disease. The ribbon also serves as a reminder that we need to find a cure for this devastating disease.

Diabetes is a long-term health problem caused by the body's inability to control blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune illness, while type 2 diabetes is linked to lifestyle factors including being overweight and not getting enough exercise. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either does not create enough insulin (a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels) or does not utilise insulin efficiently. This can cause blood sugar levels to rise, which in turn raises the probability of developing significant health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, blindness, and kidney failure. Frequent urination, increased thirst, weariness, and blurred eyesight are all possible side effects of diabetes. Medication, insulin therapy, and behavioral modifications (including dietary and activity adjustments) are the mainstays of diabetes care.

FSGS – Green

If you or someone you know has FSGS, you may be wondering what the FSGS awareness ribbon color is. The FSGS awareness ribbon is green, which is the color of awareness for kidney diseases. Show your support by wearing the FSGS awareness ribbon and spreading the word about this disease.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a kidney disorder in which scar tissue develops in the glomeruli, the tiny filters in the kidneys that help remove waste and excess fluid from the blood. Damaged glomeruli from FSGS are less efficient at filtering blood, allowing waste materials to accumulate. Viruses, medicines, and preexisting diseases including diabetes and hypertension are all potential triggers for FSGS. Facial, hand, and foot edema, together with elevated blood pressure and frothy urine, are possible indicators of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). A kidney biopsy, together with blood and urine testing, as well as imaging studies, can all help in the diagnosis of FSGS. Medication to lower blood pressure and reduce protein in the urine may be used in the treatment of FSGS, along with lifestyle adjustments such as a low-salt diet and weight management. In severe cases of FSGS, kidney failure develops, necessitating either dialysis or a transplant.

IGA Nephropathy - Green

There are many different types of nephropathy, and each one has its own awareness ribbon. For example, the most common form of nephropathy, IgA nephropathy, has an awareness ribbon that is green and white. This form of nephropathy is also known as Berger's disease.

IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger's disease, is a kidney disorder that occurs when immunoglobulin A (IgA) – a type of protein produced by the immune system – becomes deposited in the kidneys. This can lead to inflammation and scarring in the kidneys, which can damage the tiny filters called glomeruli that help remove waste and excess fluid from the blood. Over time, IgA nephropathy can lead to kidney failure.

IgA nephropathy is a chronic condition that may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. When symptoms do occur, they may include blood in the urine, foamy urine, swelling in the face, hands, and feet, and high blood pressure. The condition is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, medical history, blood and urine tests, and imaging tests such as a kidney biopsy.

Treatment for IgA nephropathy may include medications to control blood pressure, reduce protein in the urine, and suppress the immune system, as well as lifestyle changes such as a low-salt diet and weight management. In advanced cases, IgA nephropathy may lead to kidney failure and may require dialysis or a kidney transplant. The prognosis for individuals with IgA nephropathy varies depending on the severity of the condition and the person's overall health.

Important dates for kidney disease 2022/2023

March is national kidney awareness month where time is spent to bring awareness to all types of Kidney Disease but some forms of kidney disease have their own months or even a day dedicated to raising awareness.

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease – September 4th

  • IgA Nephropathy – Month of July 2023

  • Lupus - Month of May 2023

  • Diabetes – Month of November 2022

Some other important dates those fighting kidney disease may want to remember are.

  • National Nurses Week: May 6th to May 12th, 2023

  • Nephrology Nurses Week September 10th to 16th 2023

Kidney Conversations keeps spreading awareness of kidney disease all year round we would like to invite you to educate yourself on all things kidney disease. But always remember to follow the directions of your doctor and medical team.

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