New Delhi, March 24, 2017: Chronic kidney disease, especially end stage or third stage kidney disorders are on the rise in India.
Chronic kidney disease can strike any one. 17% of urban Indians suffer from kidney disease, as per latest estimates. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes which today account for 40–60% cases of CKD in India.
Chronic kidney disease can strike any one. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes. Other risk factors for kidney disease include heart disease and a family history of kidney failure—a severe form of kidney disease.
Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said, “If you have these risk factors, it is important to be screened for kidney disease. That usually involves simple laboratory tests: a urine test to look for kidney damage, and a blood test to measure how well the kidneys are working. The urine test checks for a protein called albumin, which is not routinely detected when your kidneys are healthy. The blood test checks your GFR—glomerular filtration rate. GFR is an estimate of filtering ability of your kidney. A GFR below 60 is a sign of chronic kidney disease. A GFR below 15 is described as kidney failure.”
“Without treatment, kidney disease often gets worse. If your GFR drops below 15, you may feel tired and weak, with nausea, vomiting and itching. By that point, you may need a kidney transplant or dialysis. Optimal hydration is the key to maintaining good kidney health. Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body, which in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease. CKD is also associated with metabolic disorders and bone disease and is an important risk factor for peripheral vascular diseases, cardiovascular disease and stroke”, adds Dr K K Aggarwal.
The 8 Golden Rules to avoid or delay reaching the point of kidney failure:
- Keep fit and active, it helps reduce your blood pressure and on the move for kidney health.
- Keep regular control of your blood sugar level as about half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage.
- Monitor your blood pressure: It is also the most common cause of kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 129/89, you are considered pre-hypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
- Eat healthy and keep your weight in check as this can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh ingredients.
- Maintain a healthy fluid intake: Traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day. Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease. But do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, which can cause side effects.
- Do not smoke as it slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
- Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis: drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.
- Get the kidney function checked if you have one or more of the ‘high risk’ factors.