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Diabetes, CKD and Kidney Care

On how many occasions are friends inquiring if you know of a reputable kidney doctor in Mumbai or a kidney specialist in Mumbai or even for the best kidney treatment in Pune or other cities? Instead of only directing them to a specialist in kidney treatment, I would also suggest they visit a holistic multi-speciality clinic to receive therapies and treatments that are extremely effective in treating the complete body.

Higher incomes, higher standard of living and less physical work has led to a more sedentary lifestyle bringing upon diabetes first in the urban and now in the rural population as well. This condition where the body is unable to regulate the blood sugar-regulating endocrine hormone levels often leads to the occurrence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). It is one of the growing non-communicable diseases in India necessitating concern.

Our body is a complex being. The main function of the kidneys is to remove the waste products and surplus body fluid so as not to accumulate in the body. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs found on the left and right sides of the vertebrates. The kidneys help to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals by the production of urine.

What important role do the kidneys play? The kidneys-
1. Help to remove excess products to maintain a balance in the mineral content of the body.
2. Help to regulate the water content in our body
3. Help to regulate the acid content in the body
4. Help to balance the salt and potassium levels
5. Help to remove the waste products
6. Produce an active form of vitamin D
7. Help to produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, control calcium metabolism and stimulate red blood cell production, which is primary for the smooth functioning of other organs.

The kidneys are fundamentally a powerful chemical factory. The non-functioning of which could lead to conditions like –

1. Kidney Stone: Body waste is dissolved in the liquid that passes through the kidneys. But in cases where the level of minerals or salt or crystal-forming substances such as calcium oxalate and uric acid is more than what the fluid in urine can dilute, the kidney stone begins to form. Usually, kidney stones stay in the kidney and go unnoticeable for years. It is only when the kidney stone tries to move out from the kidney through a tube called the ureter, that severe pain is felt. The reoccurrence of kidney stones increases the risk of developing chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

2. Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD): In Chronic kidney disease, the kidneys over a period of time through the years completely stop working. In this scenario, the patient is left with permanent kidney failure. A nephrologist or a specialist is required to treat it immediately so that the chronic kidney disease does not damage both of the kidneys. For kidney failure, the only treatment is dialysis or a kidney transplant.

3. Kidney Cancer: Kidney cancer is observed in individuals prone to obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.

The consequences of kidney failure being rather grave, let us understand what small measures one can take to try and delay or avoid this ailment completely:

1. Keep hydrated – Drink eight to ten glasses of water every day to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to lower the ratio of waste to fluid passing through the kidneys. If you are exercising actively, the body may need more water. Listen to your body signals and drink water throughout the day.

2. Limit salt intake: A high intake of salt or increase in sodium levels leads to intensifies the chances of developing kidney stones. The regular intake of salty pickles or high consumption of packaged and tinned food with excessive levels of sodium content can trigger an imbalance in the body. It is advised to limit the sodium intake to 2,000 milligrams per day.

3. Eat fruits and vegetables: A higher plant-based diet consisting of a good amount of fruits and vegetables consumed helps to increase the calcium intake which in turn helps to lower acid levels in the urine thereby keeping stones from developing. Having a balanced diet is of extreme importance.

4. Avoid health supplements: The market is flooded with health supplements for the fitness freaks. Overconsumption of fitness supplements to get an attractive and muscular body triggers a higher probability concerning chronic kidney disease over a period of time

5. Consult doctors before taking any painkillers: Most people with the advent of the internet, are self-medicating themselves not completely aware of the consequences. Pain relievers and cold medicines if taken without consulting the doctor the excessive dosage over a time period can damage your kidneys.

6. Lead a stress-free life: The mother of all problems is believed to be stressed. Stress leads to an imbalance in the emotional as well as the physical well being of a person. Hypertension is directly linked to diabetes. Continued high-stress levels over the years can ultimately lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD).

7. Do not neglect slow flow of urine: Sometimes a blockage along the urinary tract right from the kidney leading to the urethra, through which urine leaves the body can slow down the flow of urine. This partial or complete blockage causing can affect the functioning of both kidneys. In case you notice any abnormality in passing urine, it is important you consult a kidney specialist immediately.

8. Do not ignore the frequent strong urge to urinate: The strong urge to urinate can be a signal of a kidney infection. Please consult a kidney specialist who can subscribe antibiotics to rid the infection.

Vital organs include the liver, kidney, heart, brain and lungs. It is extremely important to ensure that one’s immunity is strong and medical periodical tests are undertaken to ensure all organs are functioning at their best. Today there are holistic clinics offering treatments for vital organs. The holistic treatment mostly involves the use of organic medicine made from vanaspati medical plants which do not have any side effects like those of chemical medicines. Holistic medicine addresses the root of the problem which has a bearing effect on all 5 vital body parts. Today more and more people are veering towards holistic medicine to address diabetes and kidney-related ailments.

The second Thursday of March is declared as World Kidney Day, to bring awareness about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) while addressing patient care and medical treatment.

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