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How do we show our kidneys some love? We take care of them of course!

The National Health Service, UK outlines 5 simple lifestyle tips to take care of your kidneys.

Step 1: Stay hydrated.

Your urine can act as a good indicator as whether or not you are drinking enough water, it should be straw colored or paler. Any darker may be a sign of dehydration.

Step 2: Eat healthy.

Make sure you get a balanced diet, complete with sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals. Eating a lot of salty and fatty foods should be avoided as it can bring complications in the long run.

Step 3: Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol.

These two habits could lead to you accumulating more toxins in your body. This means your kidneys will have to work extra hard to remove these toxins from your body.

Step 4: Watch your blood pressure.

A simple, quick and painless blood pressure check can help you detect whether or not you have high blood pressure. High blood pressure which normally has no symptoms, can actually lead to kidney problems.

Step 5: Watch your weight.

Being too heavy raises your blood pressure, and this can put extra strain on your kidneys. Your BMI should be a good measure of whether or not your weight is healthy.

 

Pantai Premier Pathology hopes that you follow these simple steps in taking care of your kidneys. They are small but vital parts of your body that we think deserve your care and attention. We hope this message helps you care for yourself as much as we care for you.

(Source: National Health Service, UK & National Kidney Foundation, NKF)

Are your Kidneys OK?

Globally, more than 500 million individuals, or about one in ten general populations, have some form of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). CKD means a condition that damages one’s kidneys by decreasing the ability to keep one healthy by doing their functions.

Kidney is very important in filtrating body fluids for excretion. It’s also produces certain essential hormones such as erythroprotein which stimulate the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Blood pressure regulator hormone, renin is also produced by kidney. Once the kidney cannot filter our body fluid, a protein call albumin can be found in our urine, a condition called “protein leak” and may lead to complications such as high blood pressure, anaemia, heart and blood vessel disease.

The most common causes of CKD are patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, glomerulonephritis (inflammatory diseases of the kidney), infections, kidney stone disease and others.

Kidney diseases are often silent. Many people are unaware that their kidneys are damaged until they have done a medical examination. These are some of the signs and symptoms, depending on the type of kidney disease:

  • Discomfort or burning sensation when passing urine
  • Passing blood in the urine
  • A change in the frequency of urination
  • Back pain (loin)
  • Frequent urination especially during the night
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • Persistent puffiness around the eyes, particularly in the morning.

If you are diabetic, having high blood pressure, smokers, obese or over 50 years of age, you are advice to go for screening. Simple laboratory tests can be done on small samples of blood and urine to assess kidney function and protein excretion in urine. Coupled with these, you are also advice to monitor your glucose and cholesterol level as it might closely relate to your present health status.

Advanced technology in Renal Function Test shows that the use of Cystatin C as a measurement of kidney function from blood could lead to better staging and risk classification of CKD. It will allow targeted management of the condition for better and safer prescribing of medications. Cystatin C, a new kidney function marker is FDA-approved for diagnostic use. Now, it is becoming more widely available and in some settings provides improved estimates of kidney function.

Kidney Disease is a silent killer! Signs and symptoms occur late in kidney disease. Screening tests are vital, especially if you are at high risk. The progression of kidney disease can be slowed or stopped if detected earlier.

(Source: National Kidney Foundation & Med. J. Malaysia, Vol. 66)