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For Healthy Kidneys

The burden of kidney disease varies substantially across the world, as does its detection and treatment
12:00 AM Mar 14, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
for healthy kidneys
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The theme for World Kidney Day 2024, is Kidney Health for All – Advancing equitable access to care and optimal medication practice. This theme emphasizes the importance of ensuring everyone, regardless of background or location, has access to the care and medication they need.

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Kidney disease is a global public health problem, affecting over 750 million persons worldwide (70-80 crore, 10% of world population). The burden of kidney disease varies substantially across the world, as does its detection and treatment.

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World Kidney Day is celebrated on 2nd Thursday of March every year.  So, this year 14th march, 2024 is the world kidney day and campaign theme for this year is: kidney health for all- advancing equitable access to care and optimal medication practice.

This day offers us an opportunity to raise awareness regarding kidney diseases, preventive measures and optimal treatment opportunities to those who are suffering.

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World over, many countries still lack access to basic diagnostics, a trained nephrology workforce, universal access to primary health care, and renal replacement therapies. Although, India and in particular our state of Jammu and Kashmir has made many strides in the management of kidney disease patients but there is still a long way to go to serve our patients better particularly starting a deceased donor kidney transplantation programme. This needs the awareness regarding the burden of kidney disease in our state and sincere efforts by the medical fraternity, government, NGO’s, civil society and religious heads.

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Useful tips for kidney health:

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Diabetes and hypertension (high BP) are the most common causes of kidney failure world over. Other being chronic glomerulonephritis (protein losing conditions intrinsic to kidneys), prolonged or injudicious use of painkillers, infections, kidney stone diseases and inherited and genetic diseases.

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All diabetic patients should maintain a strict glycaemic control by following dietary and medication advice. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) should be done regularly (3 monthly) with the target to keep it below 7%.

For those patients who have uncontrolled blood pressure regular monitoring, lifestyle changes and medications to keep it under control (i; e below 130/80 or age-appropriate levels). Regular follow up with your doctor and monitoring is important to save your kidneys, heart and brain from harmful effects of high BP.

Life style changes like weight reduction in those who are overweight, daily brisk walking for 30mins, eating green leafy vegetables rather than processed junk food helps kidneys and overall health of body in a big way.

Drink 10-12 glasses of water daily. It helps to keep body hydrated and lowers risk of kidney stone formation.

Even patients with near total loss of kidney function (<10 % of remaining function) called CKD, can live a respectable and productive life with dialysis support. With the advent of automated and better biocompatible machines and accessories, dialysis in current era is much safer and effective for toxin removal from body.

Dialysis modalities are broadly of 2 types: Haemodialysis (or blood dialysis) which is done in facility where patient needs to visit 2-3 times/ week. The other one is called peritoneal dialysis done manually daily at home. An updated version of peritoneal dialysis is the automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) where the peritoneal dialysis is done by the bedside machine during night, while patient being asleep, thus giving the patient an opportunity to be dialysis free during the day.

Kidney transplantation is the best treatment available for such patients, where a relative of the patient donates his one kidney to the ailing patient. The new transplanted kidney perform all the functions of the body as done by his own kidneys and improves the quality of life, although some medications need to be taken by the patient lifelong. The transplant surgery is a safe and success rate of 95% is achieved after surgery.

By Dr Hilal Malla

Dr Hilal Malla, Consultant Nephrologist, Paras Health Srinagar.

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