`Diabetes and hypertension constitute 50% of causes behind kidney diseases`

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a rising health problem these days. To emphasise on ways to protect kidneys, the World Kidney Day is being observed on Thursday with the theme 'Kidney Health For All'.

According to the World Health Organisation, India is likely to be the diabetes capital of the world by 2025, which is a major reason behind the rise of kidney diseases.

In an exclusive interview with Shruti Saxena of ZeeNews.com, Dr S C Tiwari, HOD, Director and Chairman at Fortis Institute of Renal Sciences & Transplantation (FIRST), Fortis Hospital, speaks about various aspects of the disease.

Shruti: What are the common reasons behind kidney diseases?

Dr Tiwari: The common reasons behind kidney diseases are: diabetes and hypertension which contribute to 50 percent of the causes; obesity, smoking, infections, stones, prostrate enlargements and obstruction. Also, use of painkiller drugs and inappropriate use of antibiotics, collegen vascular diseases, genetic disorder, polycystic kidney syndrome, and glomerulonephritis are some of the other reasons.

Shruti: What are the initial symptoms? Can early detections help prevent the disease?

Dr Tiwari: The initial symptoms may be related to urine or back pain but often symptoms are non-specific like tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, swelling in feet and near the eye area, breathlessness and high blood pressure.

By early detection and finding out the cause, the disease can be treated appropriately and timely and and its progression can be delayed. Also, dialysis is only required at 5th stage of kidney diseases.

Shruti: What prevention tips would you suggest to keep kidney diseases at bay?

Dr Tiwari: Early detection by urine examination for sugar or albumin, keeping blood pressure records, getting an ultrasound of the kidney done are some of the tips. Detection of microprobe in the urine and checking serum creatine level can tell us about kidney health. Further, calculation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) tells us in which stage is the disease currently.

Shruti: Does popping a lot many pills affect kidney health?

Dr Tiwari: Unnecessary use of any pill kills the nephrons of the kidney. Therefore, pills should be taken carefully after assessing the kidney function. Any drug if taken in inappropriate dosage is injurious to the nephron of the kidney.

Shruti: Can you suggest a kidney-friendly diet for people on dialysis?

Dr Tiwari: If the patient is on dialysis due to chronic kidney disease, the diet is decided by the nephrologist depending on patient's requirement. There is no specific diet as such. The patient's nutritional level needs to be corrected to check the nutrient requirements if he/she is on dialysis. The patient should consume less water and more protein. But, it is to be decided dynamically. If the kidney disease is acute and the patient is on dialysis then one can take normal high protein diet.

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