On 8th March 2018 both world kidney day (WKD) and international women day are being commemorated on same day and theme of this year is women kidney health. WKD is Joint Initiative of International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) celebrated every year on 2nd Thursday in March with main aim to bring awareness of kidney disease and how to prevent them.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths each year. WKD is an opportunity to highlight the importance of women’s health particularly kidney health. Risk of developing CKD is higher in women as compared with men. (14% Vs 12%) Although progression of kidney disease is slower in women as compare to men, there are some kidney diseases which are specific and predominately affect women e.g. –
Kidney Infections: – Pyelonephritis is a potentially severe infection that involves one or both kidneys. Kidney infections as most urinary tract infections are more common in women. It is common cause of CKD.
Lupus Nephritis:-Lupus nephritis is caused by an autoimmune disease, which is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the own cells and organs including kidney. It is common problem in females (Female to male ratio is 9 :1).
Kidney Disease & Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a unique challenge and a major cause of Acute kidney injury (AKI) in women of childbearing age. Adverse outcomes of affected Kidneys are responsible for Preeclampsia, septic abortion (infection of the placenta) & post-partum haemorrhage (post-delivery bleeding) are leading causes of Acute kidney injury in young women, heralding future CKD in survivors. The burden of those maternal complications is particularly high for women in developing countries, due to insufficient access to universal and timely prenatal care. The presence of any degree of CKD has adverse effect on pregnancy and CKD disease progress faster.
Various potential challenges that women with CKD may experience like sexual dysfunction, menstrual irregularity, early onset of menopause, high blood pressure, bone disease, depression. Kidney disease symptoms in women are very commonly overlooked. Ignoring these symptoms only allows CKD to progress and continue to damage your kidneys ultimately leads to end stage kidney failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):-
What are functions of Kidney? :-
The kidneys are complicated and amazing organs that do many essential tasks to keep us healthy. Daily it filters 180 liters of blood and purifies it.
- Kidneys remove toxins and excess water from your blood.
- Kidneys help to control your blood pressure
- Maintain acid base, balance salt and water.
- Produces red blood cells
- Helps to keep your bones healthy.
What is chronic kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease refers to irreversible and progressive loss of renal functions over months to years. It is incurable and gradually progress to total failure of kidney where treatment is only renal replacement therapy. Cost of treatment is highly exorbitant. Prevention of disease or early diagnosis, treatment remains only & most feasible option.
What are causes of chronic kidney disease:-
- Others like Pyelo-nephritis
- Immune system diseases
- Polycystic kidney disease (inherited kidney Disease)
- Drugs and toxins etc
What are Symptoms of CKD
A person can lose up to 90% of their kidney functions before experiencing any symptoms. CKD in most people have symptoms like easy fatigueness, shortness of breath resulting in swollen ankles, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, decreased appetite, blood in the urine and foamy urine, swelling of body, loss of weight and recurrent vomiting etc.
How to Detect kidney disease?
Most cases of early stage CKD go undiagnosed. Kidney disease progresses slowly &silently, often destroying kidney function before causing any symptoms. The early diagnosis of kidney disease is vital as it allows proper treatment before kidney damage or deterioration causes other health complications. Lab tests are done on small samples of blood to measure creatinine content, to estimate GFR and on urine & albumin excretion and ultra sound Abdomen.
Who is at high risk to develop kidney disease:-
Diabetes, High blood pressure, Obesity, Family history of kidney diseases and history of taking pain killers.
How to prevent Kidney diseases :- All high risk group of patients must get urine test for albumin and blood test for Kidney function test regularly at least once a year for early diagnosis of kidney disease and early treatment.
Eight Golden Rules to prevent kidney disease
- Keep fit & active
- Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
- Stay hydrated
- Do not smoke
- Do not take pain killers over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
- Get your kidney function tested if you have one or more of the high-risk factors for development of kidney disease.
Role of Life style modification to prevent kidney diseases – Chronic Kidney disease like diabetes hypertension and heart disease are life style disease and there modification plays major role in prevention of diseases and also in treatment of such diseases.
For people with chronic kidney disease, there are life styles choices regarding balanced nutritious diet, exercise and smoking that may help prevent kidney disease from advancing to kidney failure. Beware of six S such as Stress, Sedentary life, Spirits, Sugar, high Salt intake more than 5 gms per day and inadequate Sleep. There are also changes that may occur in the body due to chronic kidney disease. Learn about what can be done to feel your best with chronic kidney disease.
The Goal of 13th WKD is to increase awareness of Kidney disease and access to health education for prevention of kidney diseases for all to women and girls worldwide.
Other important message of WKD is Chronic Kidney Diseases are Common, Harmful and often Treatable.
How Common IS CKD : One in Ten the adult population have some form of kidney damage, and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD). CKD can occur at any age, but becomes more common with increasing age and is more common in women. Although about half of people aged 75 or more have some degree of CKD, many of these people do not actually have diseases of their kidneys; they have normal ageing of their kidneys. CKD can be detected by simple blood & urine tests and simply affordable treatments can reduce progression of the disease, reducing the risk of associated heart attacks & strokes. In India every year out of 2 lacs of End Stage kidney failure patients, only 10% of them are able to get kidney transplant or dialysis due to lack of resources.
What Harmful effects of CKD:-
- Undetected CKD results in the risk of getting progressive loss of kidney function leading to kidney failure (End Stage Renal Disease) needing regular dialysis treatment or kidney transplant to survive.
- CKD also increases the risk of premature deaths from associated cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks & strokes. Even healthy looking individuals, who are then diagnosed with CKD are at an increased risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease regardless of fact that they ever developed kidney disease.
Treatable: If CKD is detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped, and the risk of associated cardiovascular complications can be reduced.