KARACHI: Kidney disease, one of the costliest illnesses in the world with expensive management options and compromised life quality, is fast emerging as a major health condition in Pakistan.
Yet many of the patients with kidney ailment are usually found to be surprised when they are diagnosed of kidney failure.
According to a report published in a recent edition of Kidney Digest there are habits that lead to kidney failure. First of the commonly identified was not early emptying of bladder by the person concerned.
Compilers of the report mentioned that maintaining a full bladder for a long time was a quick way of causing bladder damage as the urine that stays in the bladder for a long time can cause the bacteria breeding in urine to multiply quickly.
Once the urine refluxes back to ureter and kidneys, the bacteria can result in kidney infections, then urinary tract infection, and then nephritis, even Uremia.
So, no matter how busy a person may be, it ought to be remembered that lot of water must be consumed and regular urination must be ensured.
Once you form the habit of holding back urine, it will ultimately damage your kidneys, warned the experts.
They re-emphasized that not drinking enough water is also a serious threat as the main functions of the kidneys are to regulate erythrocyte balances and eliminate metabolic wastes in urine.
If we do not drink enough water, the blood will be concentrated and the blood flow to the kidney will not be adequate, thus the function of eliminating toxins from blood will be impaired.
Moreover, taking too much salt is also a serious risk factor.This is because 95% sodium we consume through food is metabolized by the kidneys.
Exceeding the salt intake will make the kidneys work harder to excrete the excess salt and can lead to decreased kidney function.
This excess sodium will cause water retention, causing edema. Edema usually elevates blood pressure and increases the risk of developing kidney disease. The daily salt intake should be controlled within 6g per day.
People have also been advised not to ignore timely treatment of common infections quickly and properly. Common infections, such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, common cold etc, usually triggers or aggravates kidney damage. They do this by causing an acute attack of acute glomerulonephritis or chronic nephritis.
It was said to be of common experience that people who get kidney disease for the first time or whose illness condition becomes worse usually present in hospitals with a history of cold or sore throat.
If after having cold, symptoms like blood in urine, swelling, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, poor appetite appear, person concerned must consult their doctor immediately, to assess your kidney functions, and start treatment if compromised.
Eating too much meat is again a major contributory factor towards kidney disease as heavy intake of protein can increase the metabolic load of the kidney.
For those suffering from proteinuria, meat consumption too may aggravate protein leakage, worsening renal pathological lesion.
It has, therefore, been suggested that protein intake should be 0.8g/kg per day. This means that a person with 50 kg should consume 40g of protein per day. Meat consumption per day should be limited within 300g.
Kidney disease, a cause of death for many and contributory to chronic renal failure for thousands of others can also be a consequence of “Not Eating Enough”.
“This is as dangerous as eating too much,” said the experts mentioning that both the conditions damage digestive organs that are full of mucosal tissues.
“Mucosal tissues relates closely to immune system and this is why many kidney failure patients are diagnosed with autoimmune kidney damages,” they elaborated.
Painkiller Abuse, is also one of the factors that lead to kidney failure as the use of analgesics for a prolonged duration may reduce the flow blood and greatly affect kidney function.
In addition, patients with analgesic-induced renal failure are more likely to suffer from bladder cancer.
Analgesics has therefore been suggested only when it is absolutely necessary otherwise the patients must learn to rest instead of taking to the bottles.
“If you have been on pain killers for a long term, it’s about time you had a test to access you renal function done.” they said.
Hypertension and diabetes have been shown to precipitate or accelerate kidney damage, therefore people diagnosed with either of the two conditions must not under any condition miss their medication.
Compliance to recommended medication will ultimately help control condition itself as well as helping to preserve kidneys.
In our society, hypertension as a severe threat to life is largely due to stress. A common symptom of stress is insomnia. Blood pressure may increase by an average of 2-5mg/Hg because of insomnia.
Chronically elevated blood pressure can cause damage to kidney capillaries giving rise to kidney problems. Thus, we need to develop a good attitude to life and strike a good balance between work and rest to protect our kidneys and live a healthy life.
At the early stage of kidney diseases, there are usually no specific symptoms, so lots of patients are not diagnosed until the acute attack appears or the illness condition develops into the late stage.
The experts also recommended regular kidney function test for all adults so as to enable them assess health status of their kidneys an avoid any abrupt development.
People in general were also urged never to ignore the soreness of waist, swelling of the feet, changes in urine color or volume, increase in night urination, high blood pressure and other such symptoms.