29 May 2017, Edition - 685, Monday
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Columns

Kidney — An Amazing Organ

Dr.N.Mohandas
Image credit : Illustrative Image

Incidence of kidney failure cases is increasing day by day due to steep increase in the number of diabetes and hypertensive patients. Globally, nearly 50 million people suffer from renal failure but only 1 million undergo treatment. It has been estimated that nearly 360 million people will die of renal failure.

In India, though there are no accurate statistics on the subject, available data shows that 7.58 million suffer from kidney failure.

The kidney does a magnificent job in our urological system, thus becoming a unique organ in the body. Every day it filters 200 liters of blood through a functioning unit called nephron. It not only excretes urine from the blood, but also maintains body electrolyte and blood pH, and synthesises the active form of vitamin D3. It produces erythropoietin, which is essential for maturation of red blood corpuscles and to maintain blood pressure.

Kidney failure is due to uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, failure in treating nephritic syndrome (excess protein in the urine), prolonged obstruction in the urinary tract, frequent use of painkillers, use of native medicine made of metals, and family history of renal disease. Babies born with low birth weight have low number of nephrons. Some suffer from kidney failure without any specific or identifiable cause. Taking alcohol dehydrates the body; this can affect the normal function of cells and organs, including the kidneys. Too much alcohol can also affect blood pressure in turn causing kidney failure.

Here are eight golden rules which help avoid kidney failure:

– Keep fit and active. Maintain ideal body weight and avoid obesity.
– Keep regular control of blood sugar.
– Monitor your blood pressure.
– Eat healthy and keep your weight in check.
– Maintain healthy fluid intake.
– Do not smoke.
– Do not take over-the-counter pills regularly.
– Check your kidney function if have any one or more of the high-risk factors.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own

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