One in every 10 adults in India suffers from chronic kidney disease (CKD) and, at any given point, nearly five lakh patients are in need of life-long dialysis or transplant.
CKD is a progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. While severity can vary, CKD is treatable but the patient will require lifelong care. If the damage is very bad, the patient can suffer kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
City-based nephrologists said underlying CKD can strike a person at any time in his or her life. However, nine out of 10 patients who have kidney disease do not even know that they have it till it reaches an alarming stage.
Despite the growing burden of the disease, kidney health is often under emphasised and neglected, leading to late detection. To create awareness about this ‘silent killer’, World Kidney Day is observed annually on the second Thursday of March.
To mark the day, Manipal Hospitals attempted and accomplished two new Guinness World Records for conducting the longest kidney disease awareness session as well as the most number of urine analysis tests.
In line with the theme for World Kidney Day ‘Kidney Health for Everyone, Everywhere’, the hospital conducted urine analysis test for eight hours and an awareness lecture on kidney disease for one hour. The awareness session had 311 people and urine analysis test covered 623 people.
The largest gathering was addressed by Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals Bengaluru on the importance of kidney to our health.
Dr. Ballal said CKD is a silent killer because most patients do not notice the symptoms until the disease has done severe damage. Pointing out that early detection is crucial, he said, “If people have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure, it is a must to get tested for kidney disease once a year. All that is needed is a urine analysis and blood test. Early diagnosis can lead to preservation of function.”
Anil Kumar B.T., Senior Consultant, Nephrologist and Transplant Physician at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bengaluru, said it is unfortunate that more than half of CKD cases are diagnosed only at the end stage when the only option is kidney transplant or dialysis. “This can be very taxing on the patient’s physical, psychological and economic condition. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes, and now that those problems are on the rise, so is CKD,” he said.
Satish Kumar M.M., Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician at Vikram Hospital, said while diabetes continues to be the commonest cause of CKD in Karnataka, other risk factors include hypertension, obesity, late diagnosis, smoking, alcoholism, high intake of salt (over 12-15 gm a day) and the use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers.