BANGALORE: With an increasing segment of the population suffering from diabetes and hypertension, medical experts on ‘World Kidney Day’, March 8, say that people diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension and obesity should be careful of kidney related ailments. Nephrologists emphasise on the life style changes and early intervention of the disease to prevent serious kidney disorders. Unlike heart diseases, most often kidney diseases have never been taken seriously.
Dr Gokulnath, head, Department of Nephrology, St John’s Medical College Hospital says, “Our country is catching up with the western countries and it is already known as the ‘diabetic capital of the world’ yet there is very little awareness among the people on kidney diseases. This disease is a ‘silent killer’ and diabetes and hypertension are the most common causes of damage to the kidneys.’’
With certain lifestyle modifications, people can prevent diabetes and hypertension which can definitely help in slowing down the kidney diseases.
“Due to poor awareness, many patients visit the nephrologists only when they have reached the advanced stages of the diseases. Therefore, people with diabetes should be regularly screened for kidney disease,’’ says Dr Gokulnath.
The advent of kidney diseases can be slowed down with lifestyle modification, early intervention and screening at the early stages for diabetes, hypertension, renal stone as well as looking at the family history.
According to Dr Anoop Amarnath, Director and Consultant, Geriatric Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, kidney disease amongst elderly patients in India who are aged above 60 years deteriorate far more rapidly than the western population. The rate of deterioration is 2.5 per cent every year as compared to one per cent in the west (Indian kidneys deteriorate two and a half times faster). Diabetic Indians have the worst rate of deterioration at four per cent every year. This implies that Indian elderly patients, especially diabetics require dialysis far sooner.
Dr Anil Kumar, consultant nephrologists, BGS Global Hospital says, "nearly 30 to 35 per cent of cases of kidney failure is because of diabetes. However, most of the patients visit the doctors only after 80 per cent of the damage has occurred.