In celebration of the National Kidney Month in June, De La Salle University Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine, in cooperation with the Philippine Society of Nephrology, held a Lay Forum on Chronic Kidney Disease on June 25 at the OPD Waiting Area.

 

Themed “Ikaw at Ako Panalo sa Malusog na Bato,” the forum helped the participants appreciate our kidneys, its important functions, symptoms of kidney failures, and most important, the ways by which we can keep our kidneys healthy. For our dear readers, and especially for those who missed the forum, here are some of the most important facts that we learned about our kidneys from the speakers.

 

HEALTHY FACTS

 

KIDNEYS

People in the early stages of kidney failure usually do not feel sick at all. It is usually in the latter stage of the disease that patients experience the following:

 

• need to urinate more often or less often

• passage of bubbly or urinates foamy urine because of protein excretion in the urine

• fatigue

• loss of appetite

• nausea and vomiting

• swelling in the hands, feet or even face

• itchiness or numbness

• drowsiness or have trouble concentrating

• darkened skin

• muscle cramps

TYPES OF KIDNEY FAILURES

Acute Kidney Injury

 

Some kidney problems happen quickly, such as when an accident injures the kidneys. Losing a lot of blood can cause sudden kidney failure. Some drugs or poisons can make the kidneys stop working. These sudden drops in kidney function are called acute kidney injury (AKI). Some doctors may also refer to this condition as acute renal failure (ARF).

 

AKI may lead to permanent loss of kidney function. But if the kidneys are not seriously damaged, acute kidney disease may be reversed.

 

Chronic Kidney Disease

 

Most kidney problems, however, happen gradually. A person may have “silent” kidney disease for years. Gradual loss of kidney function is called chronic kidney disease (CKD) or chronic renal insufficiency. People with CKD may go on to develop permanent kidney failure. They also have a high risk of death from a stroke or heart attack.

 

End-stage Renal Disease

 

Total or nearly total and permanent kidney failure is called end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People with ESRD must undergo dialysis or transplantation to stay alive.

 

KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY!

The prospect of a kidney problem is daunting. But don’t fret too much. The key to keeping our kidneys healthy is in our hands. All we need to do is follow these advice from doctors and we will live long, happy, and healthy lives.

 

• Making healthy lifestyle choices can help to keep your kidneys functioning well. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables including legumes (peas or beans) and grain-based food like bread, pasta, noodles and rice. Eat some lean meat like chicken and fish each week. Eat only small amounts of salty or fatty food. Drink plenty of water instead of other beverages.

 

• Maintain a healthy weight. Stay fit. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate five or more days a week including walking, lawn mowing, bike riding, swimming or gentle aerobics.

 

• Don’t smoke.

• Limit your alcohol intake to two small drinks per day if you are male or one small drink per day if you are female

 

Have a healthy kidney!