By Dr. Vidyashankar, Nephrology Consultant
Over the past 10-15 years, lifestyle related diseases in India have contributed to over 60% of the disease burden in the country. Currently, more than 2,00,000 patients are dying of kidney failure every year in India. Our country is currently the home to over 60 million diabetics and an even larger number of pre-diabetics, a large population with hypertension, two of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease. As more number of comorbid patients have been found vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, the rising number of kidney cases can pose a huge economic burden on our entire healthcare budget.
Furthermore, with the increasing pace of stressful and sedentary lifestyle, a number of youth today of the age group 30-40 years are now becoming susceptible to serious kidney problems due to increasing prevalence of Obesity, Hypertension, early onset diabetes due to insulin resistance in this age group. A study published by WHO in 2018 highlights that most dialysis patients in the country are in the working age category. The stress of modern lifestyle and unhealthy habits among the younger generation are making them prone to renal diseases. Diabetes and hypertension coupled with obesity are adding to the milieu of problems leading to kidney diseases.
Swelling of the hands and feet and/or puffiness around the eyes caused by excess fluid accumulation, headaches resulting from high-blood pressure, lack of or decrease in appetite, decreased or increased frequency of urination, long-lasting changes in the colour of the urine such as unusually dark or red, which can indicate blood, and other changes in appearance of urine like foam, In children, stunted or poor growth as compared to similar age-group peers and a family history of kidney diseases are some of the potential indicators of kidney diseases.
Early detection, diagnosis and education around the kidney diseases and its causes hence becomes extremely crucial for reducing the rising burden of kidney diseases in the country. Therefore, on the occasion of World Kidney Day, we need to put our minds and resources to making our country healthier and fitter by moving our focus from curative to preventive care. This can only be achieved by creating awareness about kidney health among the millennial population starting early in schools, colleges and offices with an emphasis on screening for kidney disease.
Following are the golden rules which millennials can adopt to keep kidney disorders at bay –
• Keep fit, Be active
• Eat a healthy diet
• Check and control your blood sugar
• Manage your blood pressure
• Avoid smoking
• Take appropriate fluid intake
• Avoid taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory/pain-killer pills regularly
• Getting regular screening of kidney to look out for any high risk factors
• Avoid junk food which can be potential cause of CKD and hypertension due to excess salt and preservatives