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World Kidney Day: ‘Healthy lifestyle key to prevent kidney disease’

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Kidney health is vital for overall health of an individual. The kidneys filter blood and remove waste and excess salt and water from the body. Lately, there is a rise in number of patients detected with renal ailments in the last few years. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is when the kidneys stop working as well as they should. In people with CKD, the kidneys slowly lose the ability to filter the blood. In time, the kidneys can stop working completely. That is why it is so important to keep CKD from getting worse.

‘There is a complete lack of awareness amongst Indian population about prevention of Kidney diseases. Every year number of patients diagnosed with CKD is rising, with over 20% new cases being registered last year. This trend is up not only due to better detection but is largely attributed to sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, rising obesity, smoking and other drug abuse.’ said Dr Ramesh Jain HOD – Centre for Kidney Transplant & Renal Sciences, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi.

4 out of 5 chronic kidney disease deaths now occur in low- and middle-income countries. With rising prevalence of various life style diseases in India, prevalence of kidney disease has also almost doubled in the last decade and is expected to rise further.

‘One of the major contributing factors apart include high sodium intake (salt) which results in hypertension and in turn kidney damage. Often it is difficult to diagnose renal failure in the early stages. People need to be educated to improve their lifestyle for preventing renal failure. The young corporates due to their time deficient schedules and lack of availability tend to binge on processed food which is the highest source of sodium and also have sedentary desk jobs, Dr. Garima Aggarwal, Consultant Nephrologist, Max Hospital said.

“They should focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, exercising regularily, staying well hydrated and stop smoking. These habits not only help in maintaining healthy kidneys but also overall health. People in India tend to take over the counter pills without prescription especially pain killers, these can also harm the kidneys’  Dr Aggarwal further added.

The exact burden of chronic kidney diseases in India is still undefined, but its approximate prevalence is said to be 800 per million people (pmp).

Kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant in India is approximately 150–200 pmp.  Several  issues contribute to high prevalence of CKD in India. Poverty, poor sanitation, pollutants, water contamination, overcrowding, and known and unknown chemical (including heavy metals, indigenous remedies, pain killers, etc) may lead kidney diseases.

Added to these exposures is the growing burden of hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD in approximately 30–40% of Indian patients. By 2030, India is expected to have the world’s largest population of patients with diabetes.

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