World Kidney Day: Why renal health matters to everybody regardless of age and gender

World Kidney Day: Why renal health matters to everybody regardless of age and gender

Mar 9, 2023 - 12:30
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World Kidney Day: Why renal health matters to everybody regardless of age and gender

Kidney health is vital for our overall well-being. Kidneys filter waste products, excess water, and other impurities from the blood. When they fail to perform their function, waste products build up in the body, leading to several health complications. Kidney problems can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. However, some conditions are more common in women, men, and children. In this article, we will discuss kidney health for all in general and for women, men, and children in particular.

Kidney Health for All:

Kidney health is crucial for everyone, and it is essential to take care of them. Here are some tips to maintain healthy kidneys:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the body, which can help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
  2. Maintain a healthy diet: A balanced diet that is low in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which are risk factors for kidney disease.
  3. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which can lead to kidney problems.
  4. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: Smoking and alcohol can damage the kidneys and increase the risk of kidney problems.
  5. Manage chronic conditions: If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, it is crucial to manage these conditions to prevent kidney problems.

Women:

Women are at higher risk of developing some kidney conditions, such as urinary tract infections and kidney stones. During pregnancy, women are also at risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, which can cause kidney problems.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs are a common kidney problem in women. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. Symptoms of UTIs include pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, and cloudy or strong-smelling urine. UTIs can lead to kidney damage if left untreated, so it is essential to seek medical attention if you suspect you have a UTI.

Kidney Stones: Kidney stones are hard, crystalline mineral deposits that form in the kidneys. Women are more likely to develop kidney stones than men. Symptoms of kidney stones include severe pain in the back, side, or lower abdomen, nausea, and vomiting.

Men:

Men are at higher risk of developing some kidney conditions, such as kidney cancer and enlarged prostate. Kidney Cancer: Kidney cancer is more common in men than women. Symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in the urine, back pain, and weight loss.

Similarly, there is an Enlarged Prostate, i.e., The prostate is a gland that is located near the bladder and urethra in men. As men age, the prostate can become enlarged, which can cause problems with urination. Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include frequent urination, difficulty starting and stopping urination, and a weak urine stream.

Children:

Kidney problems in children can be congenital or acquired. Congenital kidney problems are present at birth, while acquired kidney problems develop later in life. Congenital Kidney Problems: Congenital kidney problems include conditions such as polycystic kidney disease and renal agenesis. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that causes cysts to form in the kidneys, while renal agenesis is a condition where one or both kidneys fail to develop.

Acquired Kidney Problems: Acquired kidney problems in children can be caused by infections, such as streptococcal throat infections or by autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythomatosis. Acute kidney injury can also occur in children due to dehydration, medication toxicity, or severe infections.

The author is MBBS DNB, Nephrologist, Lilavati Mumbai. Views are personal. 

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