I felt that this month shouldn’t go unsung for the welfare of kidney patients. My competence (to be vouched for by Dr. Sainath G Pattewar, Nephrologist, Balaji Hospital, Raipur) is limited to the status of a CKD patient with 8 years standing and my general inclination to the subject of diseases, doctors, medicines and patients.
World Kidney Day, observed on 10 March, is a joint campaign of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations. The eleventh WKD fell on 10 March 2016 and the chosen theme for this year is ‘Kidney Disease and Children: Act early to prevent it’.
The kidney afflictions faced by children fall into two broad categories viz., AKI – Acute Kidney Injury and CKD – Chronic Kidney Diseases. The AKI is caused by burns, crush injuries, natural disasters, dehydration, profuse bleeding, some medications, poisons, infections, etc. Insufficient supply or sudden drop of blood to the kidneys under low BP leads to the malfunctioning of the kidneys.
In ‘Hemolytic Ureamic Syndrome’, destroyed red blood cells clog the fine filters of the kidneys resulting in impaired functions of the kidneys. In gastroenteritis and in conditions where there is severe loss of fluid in the body due to profuse vomiting and purging, dehydration may occur to a child. It is for this reason Oral Rehydration Salts are advised in such situations to rehydrate and ensure electrolyte (Body salts like sodium, Potassium, Calcium} balance. ORS is more important than medicines to a dehydrated child.
The kidney requires sufficient water to pass through its system to isolate the wastes and absorb the essentials. UTI or urinary tract infections are the common cause for frequent high fever in children, with abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloated abdomen, vomiting, diarrhoea, symptoms of jaundice and blood in the urine, etc. This needs complete treatment with antibiotics after urine culture test to identify the bacteria.
A girl child is more open for UTIs because of her genitor urinary anatomy. Urethral passage of a girl child is small in length comparatively and is adjacent to anus. So she should be trained to wash from front to back. A girl child also drinks less water to avoid peeing at school in open area or under unhygienic conditions. This goes against kidney care for her. In babies below the age of four who can’t express their grief, crying during urination is a sign of infection. In AKI, the conditions are reversible if proper medical intervention is made in time effectively.
Chronic Kidney Diseases are caused by birth defects, hereditary diseases like Polycystic Kidney disease, untreated infections etc. Loss of protein in the urine (Microalbuminuria), water and salt retention in the body (imbalance in electrolytes), frothy urine indicate kidney damage, Unlike AKI, CKD a generic term, is a disease for life. It is progressive. Uncontrolled juvenile diabetes and hypertension will also lead to irreversible CKD. Dietary care and medical intervention supported by lab reports can retard its progress.
Tips for Preventing Chronic Kidney Disease
For those who want preventive measures:
- Tightly control your hypertension, diabetes.
- Reduce salt intake.
- Consume adequate water – in small quantities frequently.
- Do not take ‘over the counter’ pain killers indiscriminately.
- Get treated for kidney, bladder stones.
- Avoid smoking.
- UTI if suspected should be treated aggressively.
- Avoid injury at the location of kidney.
- Drink pure treated water.
- Use oral rehydration salt with doctors’ advice in case of severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Don’t postpone surgical intervention for prostate problems, where suggested.
- Avoid toxicity by not consuming vegetables, fruits that are heavily treated with pesticides.
- Take care while using pesticides.
- Undergo renal function test once in a year after retirement.
CKD is asymptomatic up to advanced stage in some cases. Live long with healthy kidney.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
The month of March is also ‘Prostate Cancer Awareness Month’ organised by ‘Prostate Cancer UK’. I avoid the anatomical and physiological description of the prostate gland, which can be found in the text book of biology for Higher Secondary Classes of the readers’ children or grand children. I also cut short writing about the common afflictions like prostatitis (Infection or inflammation of prostate) or common BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) – mere enlargement of the prostate leading to the jamming and constriction of Urethra – the terminal urinary passage in men. This may cause stagnation of urine in the bladder, infection (UTI) and fever. In severe untreated UTI, the infection may climb up to the kidneys too.
To preserve my energy and keeping in mind the span of attention and patience of the readers, I hurry to discuss about Prostate Cancer, relevant here. This is a dreaded carcinogenic attack on men –widely. It is rare under the age of 50 in men –less than 1 %.This is often confused with the non malignant BPH because of the symptoms.
In prostatic cancer, the cells not only multiply faster but also behave abnormally spreading outside the prostate. Prostate Cancer is an extremely complex disease. There are sub types, some aggressive and lethal. Others non aggressive and non life threatening. Exact cause for this growth is still nebulous. Lifestyle, age, family history, obesity, excess of calcium in the diet, food habits like packaged food, red meat, less intake of fibrous food, smoking, alcohol, etc., are inconclusively attributed to this disease. Some ethnic groups are prone to prostate cancer. This is detected through Digital Rectal Examination, Prostate Specific Antigen Test, Biopsy etc. I stop at this stage leaving the rest for the subject experts.
– A. Natarajan
Note by the Author:
My qualifications are MA., B.Com., and I am an Ex-Accounts Officer of the Railways, which has nothing to do with what I write! I am 82 now and a CKD patient with 8 years standing. I have been an ardent reader of books on medicine, which I did systematically from anatomy & physiology onwards. I know what is right and what is wrong in the domain of health care. I write on general topics of interest to senior citizens.
My speciality is writing about patients, doctors, diseases and medicines. I try to be overcareful in writing about topics like CKD. I search for details in various books, in the concerned sites in the internet, my own embedded knowledge, which I gathered over years.
I am not a quack in the sense I don’t indulge in the treatment of patients. But, I know about the important medicines in allopathy by their generic and brand names. I guide the patients in need with various types of advices with a clause to get it confirmed by their doctors. Many allopath doctors are negligent while writing prescriptions. Common man needs lot of guidance in the healthcare domain.
You are welcome to send your feedback to me: [email protected].
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to replace the advice of a health care provider. The author and publisher disclaim any liability for the decisions you make based on the information contained in this article. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition. In no way is this article intended to replace, countermand or conflict with the advice given by your own health care provider. The information contained in this article is general and is offered with no guarantees on the part of the author or publisher. The author and publisher disclaim all liability in connection with the use of the contents of this article.