Q – Am I suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD)?
A – Chronic Kidney Disease can be silent and may have no symptoms in which case, only a Blood Test, Sonography or Urine Test will suggest a kidney problem. Sometimes CKD patients complain of swelling of the feet, reduced urination, weakness, loss of appetite and weight-loss.
Q – Who should undergo these tests?
a. Anybody who has Diabetes, High Blood Pressure or is obese.
b. If you have a family history of kidney disease.
c. If you suffered from any kidney disease in past or if pregnancy was complicated with high blood pressure.
d. If you are consuming pain killers for a long period.
e. If you have swelling on the face or legs or if you have urine symptoms.
f. If you have history of stone disease in past.
g. Or if you are simply a senior citizen.
Q – What tests should I do to detect kidney disease?
a. Urine Routine Test.
b. Blood urea and creatinine test.
c. Sonography test.
Q- What if my creatinine is not normal?
a. First cross check your report at one more laboratory.
b. Visit your Nephrologist to find the cause of it.
c. Make all effort to bring down creatinine by finding correctable factors through your Nephrologist.
Q – How can I prevent Chronic Kidney Disease?
a. Drink adequate water.
b. Avoid taking pain killers in large quantity and over prolonged periods.
c. Strictly control your diabetes, buy a glucometer and do home glucose monitoring. Keep HbA1C around or less than 7.
d. If you have Blood Pressure, buy automatic BP monitor and regularly measure your BP. Keep your blood pressure below 130/80.
e. Maintain ideal body weight. Buy weight machine if you are obese.
f. Stop smoking or tobacco in any form.
g. Do 30 minutes of regular exercise.
h. Reduce salt, sugar and oil intake by 30%. Support the “Ek Chammach Kum” Campaign.
i. Do regular health check-ups periodically.
Q – What about medicines?
1) Do not consume any new medicine before checking with your nephrologist especially medicines for fever, headache, backache, toothache, wounds and abscesses. They may contain pain killers.
Q— What about patients with kidney stone and urine infections?
Patients with kidneys stones and urine infections should be treated promptly and appropriately by a kidney specialist to avoid damage to kidneys.
Q— What is a Sick day rule?
If you have a stable Chronic Kidney Disease and suddenly develop excessive vomiting, loose motions or very high fever for few days then certain medicines which can cause harm during dehydration or infection should be stopped. Eg:
a. BP medicine, Telmisartin, Olmisarton and other sartons, Emalapril, RamiPril and other prils.
b. Similarly — like lasix, dytor, etc may have to be stopped.
c. Diabetes medicine such as metformin, SGLT2, inhibitors have to be stopped.
d. Pain Killers such as brufen, combiflam, voveran must be stopped.
e. Blood Pressure can fall during this sickness period and hence tablets may have to be reduced or stopped temporarily.
Always consult your doctor before stopping and also to restart the tablets once the sickness improves.
Remember kidney disease is common, harmful but preventable & treatable to a large extent.
By Dr. Umesh Khanna
Chairman, Mumbai Kidney Foundation
Trustee, Sapiens Health Foundation
Secondary, Amar Gandhi Foundation