Kidney disease grips Kerala; Number of patients keep increasing
Kannur: A new crisis is brewing in the health sector in the state, as kidney disease is found to have gripped more patients. There are about 2.5 lakh kidney patients in Kerala. As per the statistics of the government agency ‘Mrithasanjeevani’, 1450 patients are waiting for kidney transplantation. Others manage to live through regular dialysis. About 50 lakh people are affected with diabetes and hypertension, which ultimately leads to kidney disease. This is the highest record of diabetic and hypertension patients in the country.
Diabetes & hypertension
About 75 percent of kidney diseases are caused by hypertension and diabetes. The diabetic patients have about 30-40 percent chance for kidney disease. In Kerala, one out of 5 persons are affected with diabetics, and one out of 3 persons above the age of 19 years have hypertension, according to Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology.
1 lakh dialyses a year
About one lakh dialyses are conducted in the state in one year. The number of dialysis centres increased six times more within 5 years. There are 52 dialysis centres in Kerala and 50 more are to be set up soon. 200 other centres also are available in private hospitals. A patient need three dialyses in average per one week.
The private centres charge Rs 1000-2000 for dialysis whereas government centres charge only Rs 300-500. The patients require at least Rs 15,000 every month for treatment.
The kidney patients cannot perform works that involve physical strain. Kidney transplantation is not only expensive but the availability of kidney also is very difficult. There are a lot of legal issues to receive kidney from people who had brain death. Majority of the patients receive kidney from their close relatives. The government has issued an order allowing prisoners to donate kidney.
Kidney disease do not show any external symptoms in the beginning. Frothy urine, abnormal amount of urine, pale red color, odour, frequent urination, itching and pain, swelling under eyes, inflammation and body pain, lack of sleep, fatigue, vomiting, exhaustion, swelling in limbs etc. are the common symptoms of kidney disease.
Overuse of salt, sugar, fast food, pain killers and contaminated vegetables can cause kidney disease. Small cysts in kidney, kidney stone, frequent infection and swelling in prostate gland also can lead to kidney problems.
Drinking sufficient amount of water, exercise and regular sleep are necessary to prevent the disease. Albumin and urea in urine and creatine in blood should be checked at least once in a year.
Three years ago, only 10 percent of the world population were kidney patients, which has risen to 13.4 percent now. Kidney diseases can be prevented to an extent, if diabetes and hypertension are controlled in the initial stage. Increasing number of dialyses units is not a solution for this at all, said Dr. M. Sreelatha, the head of the department of Nephrology in Kozhikode Medical College.