Chronic renal failure, also known as chronic kidney disease, is a silent and fairly common disease, despite receiving very little publicity and being unknown to the majority of the population.
In this article, the best nephrologist in Delhi explains what are the measures that effectively help prevent chronic kidney disease. We are not going to talk about miraculous diets, natural remedies, alternative treatments or any other type of measure that is not based on serious scientific studies.
Epidemiology of chronic kidney disease
Some statistics help us understand the importance of chronic kidney disease:
- About 10% of the world’s population has some degree of kidney injury.
- Chronic kidney disease affects every 1 to 5 men and 1 to 4 women between 65 and 74 years.
- In the age group over 75 years, 1 to 2 people suffer from chronic renal failure.
- 1 to 3 people have risk factors for the development of chronic kidney disease.
Therefore, although unknown to the population, chronic renal failure is so common that about 1/3 of the population is at risk.
What are the main causes of chronic kidney disease?
Dozens of diseases can cause kidney damage, but approximately eight of them are responsible for most cases in adults, namely:
- Diabetes mellitus .
- Hypertension .
- Glomerular diseases
- Polycystic kidney disease .
- Renal kidney stones .
- Recurrent urinary infection .
- Drug nephrotoxicity .
- Gout .
In addition to the diseases mentioned above, there are several other risk factors for chronic kidney disease, such as obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, prostate hyperplasia, advanced age, family history of kidney disease, etc.
Among these all factors, advanced age, diabetes and high blood pressure are the factors that are most associated with chronic kidney disease.
How to prevent kidney disease?
There is no magic or miraculous recipe for the prevention of kidney diseases. There is no food, plant, herb or isolated therapy that helps prevent a person from developing kidney disease.
The prevention of kidney disease necessarily involves the control of risk factors. There are risk factors that can be avoided, such as the consumption of nephrotoxic drugs, others that can be controlled, such as high blood pressure, and there are also those that have nothing to do, such as old age and family history. No one can stop aging and their genetic load cannot be changed.
Let’s talk about some of the main risk factors for chronic kidney disease that can be prevented or at least controlled:
Control blood pressure
Having blood pressure persistently above 140/90 mmHg is one of the most important risk factors for kidney injury. The higher the pressure, the greater the risk.
In addition to treatment with medications, hypertension can also be controlled by a low salt diet, physical exercises, body weight control and moderation in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Avoiding cigarettes is also important.
Control blood glucose levels
Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic renal failure in the world. The more uncontrolled the diabetes is and the more years of illness the patient has, the greater the risk of kidney injury.
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Currently, it is recommended that patients with diabetes should try to keep glycosylated hemoglobin below 7%.
Avoid medications that are harmful to the kidneys
Some very popular medications can be nephrotoxic drugs, that is, toxic to the kidneys. The most common are anti-inflammatory. The consumption of any anti-inflammatory so frequently and for prolonged periods can cause kidney damage.
Other drugs that can cause kidney damage are the antibiotic gentamicin, lithium, aspirin (doses higher than 500 mg) and cyclosporine.
Control uric acid values
Very high levels of uric acid , mainly above 10 mg / dL, are associated with an increased risk of kidney injury, especially if the patient has gout. Therefore, the control of uric acid, either through medication or with a low purine diet, is an important step.
Individuals who smoke have an increased risk of developing chronic renal failure.
keep a healthy weight
Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. All individuals with a BMI greater than 30 kg / m² should seek to lose weight.
Do the prostate exam
In men over 60 years, prostate hyperplasia can be a cause of kidney disease, so an evaluation of urologists is important.
Do blood and urine tests
Since chronic renal failure is a silent disease, it is important to detect it early. The urinalysis and determination of blood creatinine are the only ways to detect kidney disease in asymptomatic stages. We explain these two exams in details in the following articles:
Consult a nephrologist
If you have a strong family history of kidney disease, visit the nephrologist in Noida so you can do a checkup, in order to identify the first signs of kidney problems.
If you have repeated urinary tract infection or frequent kidney stones, follow-up with the nephrologist is also indicated.
Situations in which there is no prevention
It is not always possible to prevent kidney injury, no matter how healthy you are. Kidney disease often has a strong genetic component that cannot be eliminated. This is the case, for example, of polycystic kidney disease. If you inherit from a parent the mutant gene that causes cysts in the kidneys, there is nothing that can be done.
Another situation that is not usually preventable are cases of glomerulonephritis. This group of diseases of the glomeruli frequently originates from immune system problems that we still don’t understand very well. As much as you lead a healthy lifestyle, you can develop a glomerular disease with no apparent cause. Many times patients with glomerulonephritis are young and previously healthy.