Obesity Fuels Chronic Kidney Diseases

A health survey conducted by the Dubai Health Authority in collaboration with the Dubai Statistics Centre revealed that 11.9% of people in Dubai suffer from obesity.[i] The growing issue of obesity plays a key role in reducing people’s life expectancy and causes several severe health conditions. Obesity is a combination of factors including high calorie intake, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle practices etc. Obesity is now a growing phenomenon across the globe and is one of the key factors responsible for a number of chronic diseases including kidney diseases.

Obesity causes mortality due to diabetes, stroke, conditions of the heart, certain cancers etc. However, a rarely discussed and rather unknown fact is the link between obesity and its consequences on the kidney. Obesity is directly linked to chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and its progression because obesity facilitates diabetes and hypertension which are the two common causes of kidney conditions. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most used parameter to determine obesity, however, the waist circumference or waist to hip ratio is a better indicator of chronic health conditions. Obesity influences chronic kidney conditions in two ways; an obese individual is at a higher risk of diabetes and high BP which are causative factors of CKD. On the other hand, an obese individual’s kidneys will have to function much harder for the process of filtration in order to meet the demands of a person with higher BMI. An obese individual can also be at the risk of having kidney failure.

Obesity is reported to be one of the leading causes for chronic kidney conditions and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The end stage of chronic kidney conditions is called ESRD when they kidneys are no longer able to function to its ability on a daily basis.

The most common kidney damaging conditions are;

Polycystic kidneys: is a condition where a person has multiple cysts in the kidneys causing it to enlarge. This condition is generally a birth defect.

Kidney stones: or Nephrolithiasis are hard mineral deposits made of acid salts that form inside the kidney or urinary tract. People who take medicines for gout are at a risk of kidney stones, dehydration is also a cause for the condition.

Proteinuria: a condition developed when there is abnormal protein in the urine. Albumin is a protein found in the human blood because the body needs it to fight infections, build muscle etc. The function of the human kidney is to filter the blood and remove things that aren’t required by the body. There will be an underlying cause for proteinuria which needs evaluation.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: is a condition caused by scarring of the kidney. This condition may be caused due to primary or secondary reasons. The primary reason of scarring being no obvious cause, the secondary reason may be caused by another pre-existing condition, a prescribed drug, obesity or any other underlying condition.

Glomerulonephritis: is a condition causing inflammation of the Glomeruli (the kidney cell). This can lead to Hypertension, blood in the urine and proteinuria. In certain cases, this can progress to acute kidney failure.

It is extremely important to keep your kidney healthy for it to function to its full capability. Your blood sugar needs to be in control, failing which will cause diabetes. Keeping your body and mind fit by staying active helps in keeping the body fit and healthy. Water is key to prevent kidney conditions, drinking water flushes out the toxins from the kidneys and reduces the chance of kidney stones. Smoking is a causative factor for a number of health conditions, and it is always best to quit it. Certain over the counter medications may also cause kidney damage. This does not mean that they should not be taken at all, however, a physician must be consulted before self-medication. Routine medical checks are important to screen for chronic kidney conditions and for those who aren’t aware of the health risks they have. An obese individual must be aware of the positive impacts of losing weight which will include prevention and reduction of various chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and kidney conditions.

Every year, March 9th is celebrated as World Kidney Day with the aim of educating people about the importance of kidney health and the diseases associated with the kidney. This year World Kidney Day goes by the theme of ‘kidney disease and obesity’ because obesity is a potential risk factor for kidney diseases which is an unknown fact. Obesity and chronic kidney conditions are both preventable, upon undertaking healthy lifestyle practices. This kidney day lets us all promise ourselves to ensure adopting and advocating healthy lifestyle practices to beat the harmful health consequences of obesity and related kidney diseases.

Dr. John Cherian Varghese

Specialist Nephrologist 

Aster Clinic & Hospital 

Dr. John Cherian

[i] –  http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/health/survey-12-of-dubai-population-is-obese-1.1838295

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Kidney Treatment in Dubai

The need for kidney treatment in Dubai can stem from a number of medical, environmental, and lifestyle causes that adversely affect the proper functioning of the kidneys. As we know, the primary role of the kidneys is to filter the out the toxins and chemicals from the blood and send it back to the body for recirculation. These toxins and chemicals are then secreted by the body in the form of urine. The proper functioning of the kidneys ensures a healthy balance of fluids and necessary electrolytes in the body. Any reason for the kidneys to stop working normally can escalate to a shutdown of other important bodily functions as well, due to the accumulation of toxins that would have otherwise been excreted. What is also extremely dangerous about kidney failure is the fact that it is possible to lose nearly 90% of your normal kidney functioning without exhibiting any kind of symptoms.

The demand for kidney treatment in Dubai has risen over the last few years and is likely to rise further. The number of patients that were undergoing dialysis in 2016 were more than 2000, and it is predicted that this number is going to rise by 10% to 15% every year. Kidney disorders may be of different varieties, but there are three primary disorder that are more common than the others. These are:

  • Kidney stones: Kidney stones (renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis) are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys. The stones are made of mineral and acid salts and can affect the urethra, bladder or the kidneys. Kidney stones have no particular standout cause with which they occur, rather a combination of lifestyle choices and the amount of water in the body usually lead to the creation of kidney stones. In order to get kidney treatment in Dubai for kidney stones, it is important to consult a trusted urologist who specializes in dealing with the condition. For a small stone in the kidneys, the treatment is noninvasive and sometimes as straightforward as drinking more water in order to pass the stone during urination. For larger stones however, invasive procedures such as lithotripsy or surgery might be necessary to remove the stones.
  • UTI (Urinary tract infection): Is essentially an infection in any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. If a UTI infection is localized to the patient’s bladder then its effects would not be as severe as they would be if it spreads to the patient’s kidneys. Once a UTI reaches the kidneys it causes pyelonephritis or a kidney infection. Kidney treatment in Dubai for a kidney infection would primarily entail a prescription dose of anti-biotics. If the medicines don’t work orally however, then they may be required to be administered via a drip. The latter only occurs in the case of a severe kidney infection.
  • Chronic kidney disease: The disease is named after the fact that two of its primary causes are the chronic illnesses diabetes and hypertension. Diabetes and hypertension themselves are the result of high blood sugar and high blood pressure respectively. Kidney treatment in Dubai for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant. Many of the patients in the UAE on dialysis are suffering from an aggressive form of chronic kidney disease.

Kidney disorders like the once mentioned above can occur in individuals of different ages and different nationalities. However, an early detection of these disorders can lead to a full recovery for those that are afflicted by them. There are a host of options when it comes to seeking kidney treatment in Dubai. Hospitals like Aster Hospital Mankhool have cutting edge urology and internal medicine departments whose doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disorders of various degrees. Furthermore, urological treatments are covered by most health insurance providers across the country.

 

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Act Early To Prevent It!

The goal of world kidney day is to raise awareness of kidney diseases worldwide. The theme for this year’s kidney day is ‘Kidney diseases and children – Act early to prevent it’. There are millions of people worldwide affected by kidney problems and children are not immune against them. In fact, the early onset of kidney diseases in children make them more prone to growth and developmental abnormalities. The widespread use of ultrasound scan in pregnancy has helped in identifying structural kidney problems which help in early intervention to correct the defect. Kidney diseases affecting the child are more likely due to congenital malformations of the urinary system. They may be born with smaller than normal kidneys or abnormally shaped. They may have a problem with the urinary valves which lead to obstruction of the urine flow and permanent damage to the kidneys. These may be a reason for recurrent childhood infections which may persist despite multiple antibiotic courses.

Nephrotic syndrome: This is one of the common childhood kidney problems. Here, the child presents with swelling all over the body due to low blood proteins which have leaked through the urine. If not detected and treated on time could lead to complications like severe infections, early hypertension and clotting of blood vessels.

  Acute kidney failure:  In this condition there is a drop in the urine volume along with retention of toxic waste products in the blood. In children a common cause of acute kidney failure is acute glomerulonephritis. The child may complain of discoloration of urine along with body swelling and high blood pressure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is another cause of acute kidney failure in children which can progress to dialysis.

Kidney stones: They are an important problem in children. Most of the stone diseases in children are inherited. They may be associated with problems of genetic inborn metabolism of certain amino acids or due to a disorder of kidney tubule functions. These children develop multiple stones in both kidneys and urinary bladder which may need to be removed surgically. Identifying the problems early help to make changes in the diet and fortify essential nutrients and salts to neutralize the long term ill effects.

The worrying trend is a recent shift in the incidence of acquired stone disease in children. Traditionally, women and children were at lower risk for kidney stones. Due to changes in the dietary habits – increased salt intake, more processed food, decreased fibre diet and sugary beverages have increased the incidence of stones in this low risk group. Several studies done in the Middle East countries have shown an increase in the incidence of stones especially among women and children. Higher intake of processed food has depleted our natural stone preventing mechanism. The typical diet rich in phosphate include foods like meat and poultry. Reduced intake of fluids also increases the risk for kidney stones.

  Chronic kidney disease: This is a condition were there is a structural or an abnormal kidney test which persists for more than three months despite treatment. The severity of the condition is assessed using the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) which tells us the risk of anticipated complications in the future. Children with chronic kidney disease during the growth period are likely to have deformities like short stature, renal rickets and poor dentition. This happens due to decreased Vitamin D production as well as loss of essential bone minerals through the urine. They can develop anemia and hypertension which may need medications to correct.

Some of these children may progress to end stage kidney failure which may require dialysis or kidney transplantation. This may not only affect their growth, but may disrupt their education, social life and lead to low self-esteem.

Early detection helps in planning corrective surgery, make dietary changes, add important nutritional supplements and medicines which help in alleviating the long term complications of kidney disease. Eating healthy not only helps in preventing complications but also reduce the risk of developing stone disease in children.

Article by:-

Dr.John Cherian Verghese

Specialist Nephrology

Aster Hospital and Clinics

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