World Kidney Day is observed annually on the second Thursday in March to raise awareness on kidney diseases and the effective methods to keep them at bay. The theme for this year is: ‘Living well with kidney diseases’.
Maintaining an active lifestyle, checking blood sugar levels regularly, keeping blood pressure under control, eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, avoiding painkillers, going for kidney function tests once a year, for those with risk factors, after the age of 35 years and drinking at least three litres of water a day are some of the ways to prevent the disease.
Kidney diseases are the silent pandemic of the 21st century. Changing lifestyles and dietary patterns have led to a surge in kidney diseases. These diseases cause a huge burden on the patient, their families and society as a whole, says Dr. G. Ravindra Varma, senior consultant nephrologist and transplant surgeon of Asian Institute of Nephrology and Urology, Visakhapatnam.
The risk of kidney disease could be minimised by keeping the blood sugar and blood pressure under control and HbA1C below 7%. Painkillers should be avoided or their use should be minimal. One should quit smoking, exercise regularly to avoid the use of drugs, which damage the kidneys. Consumption of foods which are high in fat should also be avoided, says Dr. R.K. Mahesh, consultant nephrologist, KIMS ICON Hospital.
The foods to be avoided include: red meat, prawns, fast food, soft drinks, sugar and salt. Symptoms of kidney disease are reduction in urine flow, brownish colour of urine, bloating of face or body, high BP, lack of appetite, vomitings, diminishing of eyesight, excessive urine during night and foam in urine.