I am Dr. Gaurav Sahai, Nephrologist. Kidneys are 2 beans shaped organs which are located either side of the spine. They are roughly the size of the fist. In spite of the small organ in the body, these are the most important organs. The main function of the kidney is the purification of the blood and detoxifying body from toxins waste. The purification of blood leads to the form of urine which is secreted from the body. There is a lot of myth about the kidney in the general public. This decreases the awareness of the diseases. We often read about the heart, lungs, brain but we get very little information about the kidney. So, I can say that this is the least concerned organ of the body as per media. So, I take this opportunity to increase awareness in the general public about the kidney. There are a lot of diseases which can affect kidneys. And kidney can also get affected by the disease which is there in the body but not directly linked to the kidneys. Diabetes and hypertension can lead to kidney diseases. As you all know that diabetes is the capital of India which means the burden of kidney diseases are much higher as compared to other countries.
In my practice, I have seen a lot of patients who are suffering from diabetes. Patients come to me with the advanced cases of kidney diseases because they ignore the early signs of kidney diseases. So, what are the early signs of kidney disease? Unfortunately, these signs are very unspecific and often ignored by the patient. It could be fatigue, disturbed sleep, increased frequency of urination, swelling in the morning around the eyes. Many times, patients ignore these symptoms because of over-exertion or stress at work. And they live with these symptoms without consulting a Dr. If early detection can be done, it can be treated. In advanced stages of kidney disease, the symptoms are much more fluoride and easily identified such as decreased appetite, swelling of the body, low hemoglobin, vomiting. So, what can be done to detect symptoms at an early stage to prevent further progression?
It is not possible to screen the entire country so, we have to identify the people who are at the risk. These are the people who are more than 40 years of age, obese, people, who are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, family history of kidney disease and kidney stones history. These people should go for screening at least once a year. Screening of urination once every 6 months. 2 basic investigations are an ultrasound of the kidney and urine examination. And the best day to get these tests done on your birthday. If the tests are done as I mentioned, it can help in the prevention of kidney diseases and always remember that early diagnosis is always better and prevention is better than cure.