Kidney is a silent killer, being aware helps!

Kidney Disease

The Kidney disease is generally silent until it attains the final stage, stage – 5. The only way to diagnose early is to undergo annual blood and urine tests, which can help to identify, promptly treat the problem and arrest the progress of the disease. Though Diabetes is considered to be the commonest cause of Kidney failure, even otherwise anyone can become victim of the disease. 

People who have high risk of chronic kidney disease are


High Blood

Above 60 years
of age

Severe obesity

Family history
of Kidney disease

history of stone in the kidney, acute kidney injury

Person taking
frequent pain killer without proper medical supervision

Origin (higher prevalence
in people of African, Hispanic, Aboriginal and Asian origin)

There are several misconceptions and myths about kidney disease in the mind of common people. Some facts to address them. 

Myth 1) Kidney Diseases is Rare.

Fact: Kidney Disease is not uncommon. In America one in seven persons is
suffering from some kidney disease. In India the frequency is likely to be
higher due to higher frequency of Diabetes.

Myth 2) My Serum Creatinine level is slightly higher than
normal, but  I am perfectly well, so there is nothing to worry about.

Fact: Slightly abnormal Serum Creatinine e.g., 1.5 mg/dl means in both
kidneys 50% function is already lost. Aggressive treatment with control of BP
with suitable drugs, diet control, avoiding dehydration,regular monitoring even
if the patient is not having any symptoms will help to retard the progression
to dialysis stage and also prevents death due to other causes

Myth 3) Once a person develops a kidney disease, he or
she is likely to require dialysis.

Fact:  Majority of chronic kidney disease patients progress slowly if
BP is controlled, diet is regulated and avoid kidney toxic drugs and are likely
to die due to other causes or natural death before they reach to the stage of
Dialysis. Proper treatment delays the need for dialysis and prevents the
complication and death of the patient.

Myth 4) Kidney Patients are not supposed to take protein
in diet

Fact: Kidney patient should avoid high protein diet. They can take normal or
low protein diet in case there is not suffering from malnutrition.

Myth 5) Kidney patient should not eat tomato

Fact: Only people with stone in the kidneys should avoid tomato seeds. If
potassium is not high, tomato can be taken by all kidney patients.

Myth 6) Kidney patient should take less water

Fact: Normal Healthy Person should take approximately 4 litres of water in
24 hours. However in extreme hot and dry condition, water intake should be
increased as situation demands. However, once someone develops kidney disease
and swelling of body, then only water intake needs to be reduced. No one can
tell any fixed amount for them, it depends on the urine Volume of the patient.

Myth 7) Any person who is taking blood pressure
medicines, it will automatically control blood pressure.

Fact: Only taking medicines to control BP, is not enough. Salt restriction
in diet is equally or more important. In majority of the patients, both Salt
Restriction and blood pressure medicines are required to control the BP.

Myth 8): Stop BP Medicine, once BP is controlled.

Fact: In majority of the
cases, BP medicines need to be taken lifelong. Although dose adjustments or
drug changes are needed by your Doctor from time to time.

Myth 9) Myths: BP should be checked by doctor at Hospital
or Clinic

Fact: Hospital or clinic BP can be erroneous due stress
in the environments. Hence BP should be recorded preferably at home by self or
family members with modern automatic BP machine. BP also needs to be checked at
different time of day or night to detect diurnal variation. In some patient BP
needs to checked in both supine and standing posture to check for any postural
change in BP.

Myth 10) Doctor’s visit and investigations should be done
whenever patient develop any symptom.

Fact: Irrespective of symptoms patients should visit doctors and do regular
investigations to know whether blood parameters are in control or not. Patients
or their family members should know the reports also.

Myth 11) Good food will improve low haemoglobin and
strengthen bones in kidney patients

Fact: Kidney produces few essential hormones/enzymes, one of them  is
essential to increase haemoglobin, other is needed to activate Vitamin – D.
These Hormones/Enzymes needs to be supplemented to improve haemoglobin and
improve calcium level and give strength to the bone. Sunlight alone or dietary
calcium is not enough to active Vitamin – D in kidney patients.

Myth 12) Only Children need vaccinations

Fact: All kidney patients need vaccination against Pneumonia, Influenza,
Herpes and Hepatitis B Virus.

Myth 13) Once Dialysis is started, Dialysis should be
continued lifelong.

Fact: Dialysis is a replacement treatment for End Stage Kidney Failure. If
kidneys cannot recover i.e.  Kidney is damaged due to Chronic progressive
disease, then a replacement treatment is in the form of either dialysis or
Kidney Transplantation has to be done to   remove the toxins and
fluid from the body to sustain life. In case, Kidney failure occurs due to
reversible disease like acute kidney injury, the kidney can recover and dialysis
is needed on temporary basis. There is nothing wrong in the machine, that once
somebody is attached to the machine, he or she requires dialysis
lifelong.  It is the nature of the diseases i.e.,End Stage Kidney Failure
for which dialysis is advised lifelong as a replacement therapy.

Myth 14): Once dialysis is started, patient cannot
survival beyond few months.

Fact: Now a day the survival of the dialysis has improved dramatically in
our country also. Majority of the patients are surviving more than 5 years on
dialysis. One needs to follow the advice of qualified Nephrologists and do
dialysis in a set up which follows the international standards of Dialysis

Dr. Tarun Kumar Saha

Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant physician,

Apollo Hospitals, Secunderabad.

(Note – This news is not a medical consultation in any case. This is a Press Not. You can not make any decision based on this news story. Do not become a doctor yourself, consult a qualified doctor.)

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