Number of patients needing dialysis in India shows an upward trend

Early detection key to treating this disorder, says IMA

New Delhi, 08 July 2017: According to statistics, in the past 15 years, the number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney ailments has doubled. It is alarming to note that there has also been a 10% to 15% increase in the number of patients undergoing dialysis in the country and this percentage includes children as well. As per the IMA, kidney disorders still do not receive as much focus in India and that is one reason for under-diagnosis of this condition.

Chronic kidney disease is a slow progressive loss of kidney function over a period of several years where the patient eventually has permanent kidney failure. It largely goes undiagnosed and people realize that they have chronic kidney failure only when the kidney function is down to 25%.

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Speaking about this, 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, “Chronic kidney failure is a slow and gradually progressive disease. The signs and symptoms become apparent only after the disorder reaches an advanced stage. However, once it reaches a later stage, the damage can’t be reversed. In an advanced stage, dangerous levels of waste and fluid can rapidly build up in the body. Those at a risk of developing this disorder should get a kidney function test on a periodic basis as any signs detected at an early stage can help in preventing serious kidney damage. People with end-stage kidney disease cannot keep up with the waste and fluid elimination process on their own. They will thus need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.”

There are various reasons for renal ailments including smoking, liquor intake, unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure. It can also be the result of certain underlying medical conditions or at times medications.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Many people are unaware that diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of kidney disorders. Two simple tests can help in prevention of kidney disorders in a person: one to check the level of protein in urine and the other, a blood test for measuring serum creatinine. Both tests done once a year can help in detecting any abnormality and taking preventive care at the earliest.”
The following tips by the IMA can help in reducing the risk of developing kidney disorders.

  • Keep active: Activities like walking, running, and cycling can help in decreasing the chances of kidney disorders.
  • Keep fasting sugar < 80 mg: Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early.
  • Keep lower BP < 80 mm Hg: High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Keep your abdominal circumference < 80 cm: Eat healthy and keep your weight in check. This helps in preventing diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease.
  • Reduce your salt intake: The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). Limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food.
  • Drink adequate fluids: Drink 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day. This will help the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body.
  • Do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, this can cause side effects. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.
  • Do not smoke: Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys and increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50%.
  • Do not take over-the-counter pain killers: Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.

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