Kidney disorders are a worldwide health concern with severe outcomes of kidney failure and premature mortality. Kidney disease is currently the 8th leading cause of mortality among women.
Prevalence of Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) among women is as common as among men. Women are 5% more likely to develop CKD in comparison to men.
CKD is also considered a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome and reduced fertility. Women who have CKD are at increased risk for negative outcomes for the mother and the baby; pregnancies in women with advanced CKD are most challenging with high rates of hypertensive disorders and preterm births.
It comes as a shocker to many that the kidneys, each about the size of a fist play such a major role in your wellbeing.
What causes renal disorders?
So what exactly causes these 2 little fist-sized organs to suddenly go out of order? Kidney diseases are mostly caused due to diabetes, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries. However some of these diseases can also occur due to the inflammation of the kidneys. This condition is called nephritis.
Some anatomic disorders too can lead to renal diseases besides the one resulting from metabolic disorders. The chances of the latter happening however are thin for in the case of metabolic kidney disorders are rare since they need to be inherited from both parents.
The other causes may as well include blockage of the system that drain the kidneys or the medications that are toxic to the kidney tissue.
Since the causes can vary, so can the symptoms. Some very common symptoms however are too much or too little urine, or passing blood or abnormal levels of chemicals in urine. But if the disease is caused by a bacterial infection, the first sign is high fever. In case of moderate or mild kidney diseases, there are sometimes no symptoms at all.
But to say that these do not cause any pain will be wrong. Kidney stones in the ureter are seen to cause some cramping pain that spreads from the lower back into the groin. The disease can lead to chronic or acute kidney failure. While failure of kidneys in the former happens gradually, the latter may happen within a few hours or days. Both are life-threatening.
Rising renal problems in kids
Occurrence of renal failure in Indian kids has been increasing at an alarming rate in India. 20 % of the Indian kids are suffering from kidney diseases. Parents have a leading role in order to keep their child healthy and lead a disease free life:-
- Diet– A balanced diet contains a mixture of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Avoid processed food, fizzy drinks in order to maintain sugar and salt level Parents should keep their children fit, active and eating well to ensure that they do not become overweight. Encouraging children to take part in sports and physical activities to keep them fit.
- Consume water – Healthy fluid intake is necessary for children, especially water. But if a child is dehydrated, he/she should not urinate more frequently as the water gets absorbed by the body.
- No- smoking – teenage is the age that is most attractive for cigarettes and hence parents should keep an eye on their children.
- Medicines and drugs – Aspirin and other banned drug usages may directly affect the kidney or liver. It dehydrates the body and succeeds to kidney failure.
- Reduce sodium intake – Too much of sodium can lead to hypertension, so cutting down on salt intake is better. Daily 1.5 to 2.3 grams daily is the prescribed amount of salt intake.
- Increase potassium – Potassium helps in balancing the water level and reduces the effect of sodium thereby reducing blood pressure. Soit is a key that kids are nourished with potassium rich food(potato, spinach, beans, low fat dairy products)
How to diagnose?
The real problem however lies in the diagnosis of the disease because unless there’s a tumour or the kidneys are swollen, it becomes difficult for the doctors to check by simply feeling the kidneys. There are however tests that check the kidney tissues, take urine samples and checks for protein, sugar, blood, and ketones etc.
What are the treatment options?
When treating kidney, the doctors tend to concentrate more on the underlying cause of the disease. The infections can also be cured by antibiotics if the infection is caused by bacteria.
In case of acute kidney failure this scheme works best. In such cases treating the original cause can help return the kidney to its normal functioning. But in most of kidney failure cases, the blood pressure has first to be brought to be normal in order to evade any more progression of disease.
End-stage kidney failures are only controlled by dialysis or kidney transplant. Dialysis can be done once a week or more often depending on the condition. In case of transplant the diseased ones are replayed by a new or a healthy one. These transplants are said to work 80 percent of the time. The only fear in this case what is the body rejects the transplant. The risk however is worth it because a healthy kidney can help you live a better life.
By: Dr Sudeep Singh Sachdev