Narmada Kidney Foundation

Kidneys play the most important role in the functioning of the human body. The Narmada Kidney Foundation (NKF) based in Mumbai is a charitable trust founded in 1994 in the memory of Smt. Narmadaben V. Shah. Her aim was to help patients suffering from various diseases, especially relating to kidney disease. As most of the people suffering from chronic kidney disease or any disease linked to the kidney have limited treatment options and the cost involved is high. The prime focus of the foundation is to educate the people about normal functioning of the kidneys, the different ways in which kidneys get damaged and the consequences of losing the kidney function. Kidney diseases prove to be dangerous for the whole body. The recent event held by the NKF was regarding the “Early management of Kidney Disease” held a panel discussion with 7 nephrologists. The nephrologists were Dr. Vidya Kadam, Dr. Harshad Dodeja, Dr. R. K. Malik, Dr. Atul Ingle, Dr. Rajendra Gunjotikar, Dr, Harshal Gole and Dr. Bharat Shah who is the founder of Narmada Kidney Foundation (NKF).

Dr. Bharat Shah said that people should not ignore the issues relating to kidney diseases. And correct diagnosis and treatment should be received from time to time to avoid chronic problems.

Our body is like a factory which has number of machines. And all of these organs require certain amount of energy to function together smoothly. The energy is received through the food intake. The digestion of food involves a process wherein kidney plays a prime role. The required nutrients get stored in the body and the waste products are carried in the bloodstream to the two kidneys. Here in the formation and excretion process is done by the kidneys. Besides this Kidney functions in various ways like it removes toxic waste products, regulates the water content of the body, regulates the blood pressure, produces a substance known as erythropoietin which aids in forming RBCs, thus builds up hemoglobin, helps in bone formation by activating Vitamin D.

If the person faces problems pertaining to kidneys, the person should consult the doctor as soon as possible. Kidneys fail in two ways, first is Acute Renal Failure and Chronic Kidney Disease. Certain impediment faced in the chronic kidney disease needs medical treatment. Some of the problems which the patient undergoes are fluid retention, anemia, bone disease, acidosis might develop with kidney disease. Most of the doctors worldwide believe that there is no permanent cure for chronic kidney diseases. There are three major vital issues to be kept in mind while dealing with Kidney diseases. First is to control diabetes i.e. blood glucose level, second is control of high blood pressure and third is balanced or control on diet as per the patient’s condition. People suffering from high blood pressure can suffer kidney failure which is otherwise known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Then such patients would have two options to undergo treatment either by receiving kidney transplant or opt for dialysis. There are two types of dialysis i.e. hemo-dialysis and peritoneal dialysis. There are several types and causes of kidney disease. Some of them are hereditary Disorders which is mostly seen in polycystic kidney disease, Congenital Disease, Acquired Kidney Disease, Kidney Stones, Nephrotic Syndrome, Long-standing High Blood Pressure (hypertension), Diabetes Drugs and Toxins

Dr. Vidya Kadam explained regarding Blood pressure levels. She elucidated that the standard reading irrespective of the age of blood pressure should be 120/80. 90 percent of the kidney patients are bound to suffer blood pressure. This kidney disease is caused in both the ways. For instance person who suffers from blood pressure levels are highly prone to suffer from kidney disease and person suffering from kidney disease are for sure to suffer from blood pressure problems.

The blood pressure levels in kidney patients are measured at two stages. In the First stage the average blood pressure level should be 120-140 and 80-90. People who are at the beginning stages relating to kidney disease or already suffering from kidney disease should have maximum blood pressure of 130/ 80. And if the patient is undergoing too much of protein leak from the kidney then the blood pressure level should be maximum of 125/75. Patients can control their blood pressure levels by reducing the proportion of salt while eating certain food items. The patients’ weight also plays a prime role; if the person loses weight then the blood pressure level falls down. Regular warm up exercises would help the patients to retain a balanced blood pressure levels. The patients should avoid smoking, as it might prove to be hazardous leading to several problems with the arteries which migrates to the heart and other areas. So people suffering from blood pressure and who smoke should take vital measurements to live a healthy life.

Dr. Harshad Dodeja said that the, protein level is not high in vegetarian food as compared to non- vegetarian food. So patients who eat non-vegetarian food would have to take extra care in their diet. Dr. Dodeja recommends that apart from prescribed medicines, patients suffering from kidney diseases should keep a Control Check on the following 5 things:

  • Controlling Diabetes level.
  • Blood Pressure levels
  • Pain Killers
  • Urine Infections especially in old age women.
  • Limited Protein Intake
  • Dr. R.K. Malik said that malnutrition might be the resultant factor as the there is minimal amount of food intake and thus the protein level also decreases drastically which is not all good for the kidney in the human body. Due to malnutrition, cardio vascular problems arise as the required amount of nutrition is not formed in the body to work. When a person consumes food, three things the body receives i.e. Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. Patients who completely restrict protein intake would even face problems because kidney function preserves the protein for the formation of erythropoietin which if does not from, decreases the blood level. The normal hemoglobin level should be of 12-15 g/bl.

    If the kidneys doesn’t function properly due to weakness in the body then partly or completely the kidney failure takes place. It also occurs due to issues like anemia, high blood pressure, acidosis, disorders of cholesterol and fatty acids. Thus the protein level shouldn’t be restricted too much and there shouldn’t be high intake of protein level also. The normal protein level intake should be 0.6 per kilo gram, per day. And the lowest can go up to 0.3 per kilo gram, per day.

    What are the symptoms to identify Kidney Diseases?

  • Burning sensation or problems during urination
  • Rise in the frequency of urination
  • Swelling in certain parts of the body like hands and feet
  • High blood pressure, weakness in the body
  • Forgetting things easily, bone pain, whole body ache.
  • What are the common causes of Chronic Kidney Disease?

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis (damage to the filters)
  • Stone in urinary Tract
  • Urinary Infections
  • Long term intake of pain killers/ alternative medicines containing heavy metals
  • Others (hereditary)
  • What are the medical tests to diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease?

  • Urine examination- for protein leak, blood leak or infection
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine level in the blood
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys
  • Kidney biopsy (rarely)
  • Ten key points for prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Have natural food like vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereals
  • Avoid fried and processed food
  • Exercise regularly
  • Watch your weight
  • Control your Blood Pressure
  • Control your Blood Sugar
  • Get regular check-up
  • Do not take unnecessary pain killers
  • Do not ignore kidney stones even if it does not give symptoms
  • Remember that alternative therapies are not always safe; they can damage your kidneys.