With up to 65 per cent of patients with chronic kidney disease malnourished before they are on dialysis, the nutritional status of these patients is gaining increasing attention of late.

Explaining just how important nutrition was to the overall recovery of a patient, Anita Saxena, associate professor, department of nephrology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, delivered the Dr. Vidya Acharya Memorial Oration, 2014.

Dr. Saxena was speaking at the second COREP, a conference of renal healthcare professionals, held at Madras Medical Mission on Saturday.

She said that studies had shown that kidney patients with good nutrition were able to withstand stress far better, and those who were malnourished, had lower survival rates.

There is an urgent need to both spread awareness on prevention, as well as control and reverse malnutrition, she said. “The key preventive measures are to correct uremia (raised level in the blood of urea and other nitrogenous waste), control blood pressure and supplement with folic acid when necessary. Small but frequent meals are best for patients,” she said.

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