Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine Department of Nephrology Faculty Member and Turkish Nephrology Association Board Member Prof. Dr. Bülent Tokgöz made important warnings on 12 March World Kidney Day.
Stating that the number of people affected by any type of kidney disease exceeds 100 million, Prof. Dr. Tokgöz, “The global burden of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) is getting heavier. If we fail to take effective measures, we will see chronic kidney diseases in the top 5 among the most common causes of death in 2040.”
Underlining the high economic burden of chronic kidney disease, Prof. Dr. Tokgöz said, “Chronic kidney disease is a disease with a high cost of treatment. If we examine the health expenditures in developed countries, only treatments for end-stage kidney disease, namely dialysis and kidney transplantation, occupy 2-3% of annual health expenditures.” he said.
Early diagnosis is vital
It is important to know who is at risk. Because in this way, we can detect the disease at an early stage, prevent its progression, or at least slow it down with screening tests in high-risk people. In addition, knowing the conditions that increase the risk of disease also guides what should be done in terms of preventing the development of kidney disease.
As an additional examination, ultrasonographic examination may provide definitive information. When we make the diagnosis, we determine the stage of the disease and try to estimate the rate of progression in the earlier stages than Stage 5. The earlier we are in the phase, the higher the chance we have of stopping or at least slowing progress. Our efforts to halt/slow disease progression up to stage 4 are evident. In Stage 4, we don’t loosen our slowing efforts, but we still complete our plans and be ready for contingencies. If we enter stage 5, if the kidney function will decrease to critical values or if uremic symptoms appear, we should start kidney transplantation and dialysis when transplantation is not possible. We also have changing nutritional recommendations, vascular protection strategies and vaccination programs for prevention, starting from the early stages.
Medicines used without a doctor’s recommendation harm the kidney
If necessary, we should use the medication only in accordance with the doctor’s recommendation. Otherwise, let’s not forget that it may bring us risky situations. Drugs that can be obtained without a prescription, especially since they can be taken without the recommendation of a physician, may pose a danger of toxic effects on the kidney.
In our country, chronic kidney disease is mostly seen in women, the elderly, those with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
Salt can cause irreversible damage to the kidney
The World Health Organization defines the amount of salt a person should consume daily as 5-6 recommends in grams. As we exceed this amount, our blood pressure becomes more prone to rise. The pressure exerted by the blood in our arteries on the vessel walls should not be more than necessary. High blood pressure forces our kidney vessels and over time, it can cause irreversible damage to the basic structures of the kidney.
A healthy adult needs at least 1600 ml of water for vital activities in the body. We have to take at least 1300 ml of this amount in food or outside as water. Since very old people may become desensitized to the feeling of thirst, they should pay more attention to the danger of dehydration on extremely hot days.
We have different nutritional recommendations according to the stages of the disease. It is important not to consume more salt than necessary for each stage. As the disease progresses, a phosphorus-restricted diet at the required point according to blood measurements is vital to prevent high blood phosphorus levels. In such a case, it is very important to avoid soft drinks and processed industrial foods rich in inorganic phosphorus. There are also nutritional measures to be taken in case of dangerous fluctuations in potassium level. A balanced diet is essential, but we recommend a diet that contains the required amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats with high biological value.
In order to maintain ideal body weight, it is important to eat a balanced diet, not to consume more salt than necessary and not to be inactive. In addition, we should not smoke, avoid excessive alcohol, and avoid using pain medication unnecessarily. In addition, even if we are in one of the risk groups, it is very important for us to undergo an examination and to ensure early diagnosis.