Kidney health: What you MUST know!


The well being of our body depends on the equilibrium and smooth functioning of many intertwined processes taking place inside our body, which include multiple organs; kidney being one of the important ones. As we all know, kidneys help eject waste from your body in the form of urine. It helps keep the highly critical ‘creatinine’ levels in your blood low, the higher value of which can spell trouble in your paradise.

According to experts, kidney related ailments are on the rise in India and there are some studies that suggest its prevalence as high as 17 percent in cities in India.

What can go wrong?

Kidney stone is a commonly occurring issue. There are several factors that can increase your risk of kidney stones. Talking about the basics, kidney stones form when the crystals in your kidney become too big or hard to be diluted and flushed out in urine. Sometimes urine lacks substances that prevent stones from sticking to each other, leading to kidney stones.

Kidneys are also prone to cancer. “When cancer strikes a kidney, there are usually no symptoms. I always advise patients above age 50 to get a sonography of the abdomen once a year. When I was practicing in the US, more than 90% of my patients with kidney cancer came to me in stage 1. Now in India, more than 60% of my patients with kidney cancer come to me in stage 4. A simple sonography once a year can pick up cancer early when it is still curable. The latest treatment for kidney cancer is robotic surgery which is bloodless, painless with a 3-4 hospital stay and return to work in 2 weeks,” shares Mumbai-based Dr Anup Ramani, Uro-Oncological Robotic surgeon, Saifee & Lilavati Hospital.

Common mistakes hurting our kidney

So what makes our kidney prone to diseases? Dr. Krishna Mohan Sahu, Director, Nephrology & Kidney Transplant, Nayati Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Mathura elaborates the common mistakes we commit unknowingly:

Drinking insufficient amount of water: It causes dehydration, lowering of blood pressure, and increased viscosity (thickness) of blood. All these lead to compromised blood supply to kidneys resulting into kidney dysfunction.

Holding urine for long hours: It increases the risk of urinary tract infection, and causes backward pressure on kidneys which in the long run adversely affect kidney function. Taking voveran or brufen type of pain killers for long term: These pain killers directly damage the kidneys.

Taking too much of salt, processed food, and soft drinks: High salt intake increases blood pressure and blood pressure directly harms kidneys. That is not it. High salt intake increases the amount of protein loss by kidneys, which is a strongly linked to the development of kidney disease. It increases stone formation in kidneys. Kidney stones, by causing obstruction to urine flow and urine infection, adversely affect kidney function. It also accelerates the decline of kidney function in patients who already have kidney disease.

Not many people pay heed to it but intake of too much protein supplements also leads to kidney issues, warns Dr M. M. Bahadur, Consultant, Neprhrologist & Transplants, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central.

Ignoring diabetes or high blood pressure: It is very important to keep your diabetes and blood pressure in control.
Long term use of tobacco and alcohol: We all know how much tobacco and alcohol impact our health. It’s wise to stay away from tobacco and drink in moderation.

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