Love your kidneys, if you want your kidneys to love you back!

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On V-Day eve, Fortis doctor interacts with Mohali senior citizens during on Renal Dysfunction; says early diagnosis helps prevent permanent damage and simple measures can prevent long-term complications

NewZNew (Mohali) : Over 150 members of Mohali Senior Citizens’ Association today attended a session organized on ‘Kidney diseases in the elderly’, during which Dr Amit Sharma, Consultant Nephrologist & Renal Transplant Physician, Fortis Hospital Mohali, elaborated upon prevention, warning signs and treatment for kidney dysfunction. To make the Valentine’s Day eve special, the elderly couples later participated in on-the-spot contests, professing their love to each other and winning gifts such as goodie bags and hampers.

Explaining the function of kidneys, Dr Sharma said, “Kidneys help to cleanse the toxins in the blood and expel it out as urine, moderate blood pressure and assist in the production of red blood cells. They also help in erythropoietin production, vitamin D production, calcium/ phosphorus balance as well as acid/base balance maintenance.”

The kidney diseases mainly affecting the elderly population include acute renal failure, chronic kidney disease, proteinuria, urinary tract infection (UTI), renal cysts and electrolyte imbalance like hypo/ hypernatremia and hyper/ hypokalemia. In elderly patients, proteinuria is seen more commonly, mostly in patients affected with diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

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[blockquote author=” the nephrologist elaborated.” pull=”pullright”]“Kidney failure is the condition when kidneys are not functioning properly and is characterized by reduction in urine output, swelling in body, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, increased itching, nausea, vomiting, increase in serum urea/ creatinine, increase in serum potassium and phosphorus or increased acidosis/ low bicarbonate on investigation. A number of risk factors lead to kidney failure like high blood pressure, diabetes, family history of kidney disease, use of medications like ibuprofen/ aspirin/ vitamin D, aminoglycoside antibiotics, increasing age, obesity as well as history of heart disease/ stroke,”[/blockquote]

“The elderly are at the highest risk for acute kidney failure when they are past medical complications such as heart difficulties, weight issues, management issues related to diabetes and liver disease,” he added.

Talking about prevention, the doctor said the elderly must watch out for the warning signs, keep a check on diet (restrict salty foods or those high in potassium), monitor other chronic medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart diseases, exercise regularly and avoid frequent pain-killer use.

Management of kidney failure depends on its type. Patients with acute kidney failure improve if the cause responsible for acute kidney injury/ failure is treated quickly. On the other hand, chronic kidney disease results in permanent damage and it may require either a kidney transplant or dialysis in form of hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. “With Fortis Mohali now doing both ABO Incompatible and Swap Kidney Donations, patients have a better chance of leading healthier lives, despite having suffered from kidney disease since decades,” Dr Sharma said.

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“Early diagnosis helps prevent permanent damage. Routine check-up and at least annual blood tests are important, especially in diabetics and hypertensive patients.” Dr Sharma concluded.

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