Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) are quite prevalent in India. However, most experts believe that CKD is underdiagnosed.
The kidneys play a significant role in the body as waste filters. They are two bean-shaped oragans located at the bottom of the rib cage that perform important functions like filgering out excess water and impurities in the blood.
They are known to regulate the body's pH level, salt and potassium amounts. The kidneys produce hormones to control the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the entire body.
With an improper lifestyle, the kidneys can get affected. While kidney diseases are known as "silent killers", it is important to catch the early signs of any illness. If risk factors are left unchecked, they could become chronic.
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According to Dr Ganesh Shrinivasa Prasad, Consultant, Nephrologist and Transplant Physician, Narayana Health, 90 per cent of the time patients will not have any symptoms until the last stage.
"Kidney disease is usually silent in the early stages, wherein it can be diagnosed with the help of investigations like serum creatinine and urine albumin detection. In later stages, patients with kidney problems can have swelling all over the body, frothy urine, sometimes blood in urine," Dr Yogesh Kumar Chhabra, Senior Consultant, Nephrology Kidney Transplant, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh told indiatoday.in
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Dr Prasad said that high blood pressure is one of the most common and early warning signs of kidney problems.
"Patients who have high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity need to check their kidney functions regularly, even if there are no symptoms," said Dr Prasad.
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As per the experts, kidneys should be evaluated from time to time to detect the early warnings. People at risk are diabetics, hypertensive or those with a family history of chronic kidney disease.
"Simple investigations like kidney function test, urine evaluation and blood pressure monitoring can give us an indication regarding involvement of the kidney at early stages, where appropriate measures can be taken to halt or reverse the progression of kidney disease," said Dr Chhabra.