KV Network

Renal Analysis: One needs regular check ups

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Dr Sudeep Singh Sachdev
Kidney related ailments are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality across the globe and recent statistics estimates to have affecting around 100 crore people worldwide. While people get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis, but fail to undergo kidney health check-up for timely detection and intervention.
Irrespective of age, kidney related problems are known to affect people of all age brackets, but those with pre-existing complications like hypertension, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or fall in the geriatric population (above the age of 60 years) are highly vulnerable to renal ailments.
While the recent outbreak of the n-COVID has also known to affect the renal functioning leading to the organ failure and ultimately fatality, taking essential care of the kidneys are of utmost importance.
The global burden of Kidney diseases is progressively increasing and many are living with it without even knowing it. According to a recent study made by Global Burden Disease (GBD) 2018, the mortality rate due to renal ailments remains the 5th top most cause and the 8th leading cause of morbidity across the world.
While delayed recognition and treatment of kidney problems only predispose patients towards adverse future outcomes, and may hasten the progression to kidney failure. Timely detection helps in delaying the progression with appropriate access to basic and simple interventions. Some of the more important negative outcomes include rapid onset of end-stage renal disease, progression of comorbid conditions such as anemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD), suboptimal vascular access at initiation of dialysis, increased use of hemo-dialysis facilities, increased hospitalization, increased cost, and worse survival.
It is advisable to get kidney tests done on regular basis and Early detection of disease via screening programs is widely recommended.
The Age Factor
Kidney diseases are usually silent killers as during the early stages there may not be any noticeable symptom. However, there are several ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. So, why wait until your kidneys are diseased. While many cases of renal problems have been witnessed ranging from as low as 6 to 8 years and upto 80 years and hence timely advise in any case for preventive measures play a vital role in improving the quality of life.
The Adult and Geriatric Population – This are is usually marked with a series of co-morbidities associated with depletion of kidney health. With increased incidences and risk factor for developing diabetes and hypertension at the age above 60 years, elderly population is highly susceptible to be diagnosed with renal problem. The usual symptoms include –
• Swollen up feet – This is caused due to the sodium retention due to the reduced kidney functioning.
• Tiredness/ Fatigue and loss of appetite – Due to the toxin build up, patients with poor kidney function may feel more exhausted that normal days.
• Urine Analysis – Urge to urinate at night, excess bubble in the urine or presence of blood or pus can be an indication of poor filtration done by the kidneys.
• Low Hb, dry and itchy skin – Healthy kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from your body, and help make red blood cells which besides keeping bones strong maintain the right amount of minerals in your blood. Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of some advanced kidney disease.
Kids and Teens – Only a minority of the world population ever think about their kid’s health. Not much importance is given to kidney disorders as it is still under the radar condition. When focusing on a kid’s health, many of us, parents, dieticians, pediatricians have a propensity towards obesity and heart related diseases. Early detection is must, for a healthy lifestyle in children, right from the birth till the old age, in order to combat with the preventable kidney damage that may include acute kidney injury, chronic disease and also to treat kidney disorders, a child is born with.
Symptoms of disorder in kids –
• Difficulty in gaining weight for the child and poor growth
• Frequent body aches, urination or takes longer time to urinate.
• Swollen face, legs, ankles while getting up in the morning
• Colour change in urine
• Recurrent abdomen pain
• Appearance of ants in the urinated place may be a symptom.
Parents should keep their children fit, active and eating well to ensure that they do not become overweight. As a start, children should be encouraged to take part in school sports, and families should become more active. A balanced diet contains a mixture of fats, carbohydrates, proteins. Avoid processed food, fizzy drinks in order to maintain sugar and salt level.
Get tested regularly
Kidney diseases are usually silent killers as during the early stages there may not be any noticeable symptom. However, there are several ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. So, why wait until your kidneys are diseased.
It is necessary for kids and adolescents to get the kidney function tests done atleast once in a year. In case you have diabetes, hypertension, obesity or if you are over 60 years get regular kidney tests done (every three months).
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and make necessary dietary changes if possible. Normal blood pressure level is 120/80. High blood pressure can cause kidney problems besides leading to a stroke or heart attack. Consuming plenty of fluids, especially water helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body. Keep your sodium or salt intake in control.
(The writer is a Senior Consultant, Nephrology, Narayana Super Speciality Hospital, Gurugram)

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