Here are some alarming statistics about various ailments in India:
-1 in 10 individuals are suffering from some form of Kidney Disease – 1 in 7 are suffering from Diabetes – 1 in 5 are suffering from High BP -50 per cent of Kidney diseases are due to Diabetes & Hypertension.
Truly, we are sitting on a ticking timebomb about to explode.
Kidney failure is increasingly seen as Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) & is soon becoming an epidemic. Most people tend to view Kidney disease in isolation. They think it can be cured by medicines and in the very long term it can be controlled or managed by dialysis.
What most of them don’t realise is the fact that kidney failure or CKD ( Chronic Kidney Disease ) is not just a result but also a symptom for various other serious diseases. CKD could cause Chronic Heart Disease. This happens because in a patient with weak kidneys, the heart has to pump more and is stressed more. This can result in Heart Attacks and other complications.
Tragically, CKD is no longer restricted to urban society it’s prevalence is almost the same in rural India The social implication of advanced CKD or ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease):
ESRD is a devastating medical, social & economic problem for patients & their families. In India a large number of these patients are young and are the sole bread winner of their family. In one study it was calculate that 63 per cent of these patients were supported by charity, 26 per cent received loans, 34 per cent sold assets, land etc. or combined these 3 resources to obtain treatment and barely 5 per cent could afford treatment on their own. Thus India cannot afford treatment of ESRD.
Can we change this scenario?
The answer is a resounding Yes! – It can happen only by prevention of Kidney disease. We know that the common causes of CKD in India are as follows: 1.Diabetes 2.High BP 3.Over the counter use of painkillers & various drugs, chemicals, bhasmas, etc. which damage the Kidneys. 4.Chronic infections in the Kidney. 5.Stones damaging the Kidney 6.Congenital disease of Kidney, like polycystic Kidneys.
Majority of these causes are preventable or controllable
Primary Prevention: Patient Education 1.He has to be informed that Diabetes & BP need lifelong care, control & follow up with doctors 2.Once the BP or sugar is controlled with drugs, drugs should not be stopped as this control is due to medicines and has not occurred naturally. 3.Drugs may have a few side effects, but the illness has life threatening implications, so one should be more scared of the disease than its medication. 4.Kidney disease is a silent killer and will have no symptoms & hence regular health checkup every year is required for detection of CKD. 5.Simple and inexpensive tests of BP, Blood Sugar, Urine Routine and Serum Creatinine can detect Diabetes, BP & CKD & should be done at least in high risk patients.
Secondary prevention: 1.Having diagnosed to have high BP, diabetes or CKD, you need lifelong care & follow up with doctors 2.Once you have Protein leakage or mild Kidney Disease then Diet control, Lifestyle changes & certain medications like ACE inhibitors or ARBs can control or slow down the progress of Kidney Disease & delay or avoid dialysis.
Dr. Umesh Khanna MD,DNB (Nephro) Nephrologist & Chairman Mumbai Kidney Foundation