Need stressed for raising awareness about kidney diseases

Kidney Disease

Celebrated annually on March 14, World Kidney Day was created to raise awareness and education about the importance of kidney health.

Warnings to this effect echoed Thursday at the Quaid-e-Azam International Hospital (QIH), where a seminar and a walk for a twin commemoration of World Kidney Day and World Dietitians Day was held.

"Kidney disease is increasing at a faster rate than any other noncommunicable disease in the USA, and that's why we're working so hard to ensure people at risk are tested", said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. These people either require dialysis and/or kidney transplantation as a form of medical treatment.

It is estimated that chronic kidney disease causes at least 2.4 million deaths per year and is now the 6th fastest growing cause of death. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and various cardiovascular diseases.

As many as 850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes, World Health Organization said.

The more salt intake causes excessive water retention in the body which puts more pressure on the kidney function.

The symposium will start at 10 am with the opening remarks from Prof Asna Urooj, chairperson, Department of Science and Nutrition, UoM followed by Prof S R Ramesh's speech on "understanding relation between immunity, infection and nutrition in disease management".

Your body can still work quite well with only one kidney, so long as that kidney is healthy. The institute aims to properly control diabetes (fasting glucose in 90-130 range and random blood glucose of less than 180) and high blood pressure (keeping it below 130/80), and manage lipid/cholesterol levels (target LDL of less than 100, triglycerides less than 150) through a low protein and low salt diet. Our best bet is to keep our kidneys healthy by following healthy practices. Most people in the early stages neither report any symptoms nor realise that anything is wrong with their kidneys.

The common kidney tests that are performed are a blood Kidney Function Test, including blood urea and creatinine, as well as a urine routine test. Imaging tests like an ultrasound and CT scan are also used to gauge changes in the kidney and urinary tract or to detect stones.

Poorly functioning kidneys can result in electrolyte imbalances.

Speaking yesterday ahead of the World Kidney Day (WKD) holding today, Consultant Nephrologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Dr Oluwatoyin Amira, said herbal medication, diabetes, hypertension and poor funding were responsible for the increasing cases of renal failure in the country.

He said that between 20 and 30 per cent of people who present for community-based medical and health screenings were affected by kidney diseases.

He said: "We know from experience that most kidney diseases tend to occur in the middle and low socioeconomic group to which the population here belongs".

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