Love thy kidneys

Don’t ignore that sore throat and skin infection. They can lead to renal (kidney) disease which is the 10th leading cause of fatality in the country.
Dagupan City Health Officer Leonard Carbonell said that in the country, 7,000 persons die from chronic renal failure yearly, but the disease is not getting as much attention as heart diseases do. In the city, it is the 8th leading cause of death, he said. More...
June is Department of Health’s national awareness month on kidney and the theme this year is “Okay ba Kidney mo?” 
As part of the project, the city health office is conducting a training workshop among health personnel about kidney, advocacy campaigns and urine screening among high risk  children, diabetics and hypertensives.
In San Fernando City , the health office is likewise conducting urine screening among 500 Grades I-III pupils, according to city health officer Godofredo Rilloraza.
Carbonell explained that many people are aware that sore throat or tonsilitis (inflamation of tonsils) can lead to rheumatic heart disease, but they do not know that it can also lead to acute kidney disease especially in children.
“You have to treat this diseases so they will cause serious diseases,” he emphasized.
Carbonell said the public health sector is concerned with prevention and early detection of renal diseases and the cheapest and simplest test for this is urinalysis.
The test, which cost only about P30 to P40, should be conducted yearly even among normal children, he said.
“The amount is very minimal as compared to the physical suffering of the victim, the mental suffering of the family and the amount needed to undergo the medical procedures,” he explained.
Kidney patients have to undergo dialysis (a medical procedure that helps the body by performing the functions of failed kidneys)  twice or thrice weekly.
Each procedure costing at least P2,800 and this must be continuously done for the patient to live. Patients who fail to undergo the procedure could go into coma in about two weeks as the body accumulates waste products that should be excreted, he said.
There are 5,600 patients in the country who are undergoing dialysis at present, he said.
The patients may also opt for kidney transplant but this is very expensive at P300,000 to P500,000 is needed. Even if the amount is available, the patient is lucky if there is a compatible kidney donor, Carbonell added.
He warned against the use of herbal medicines which can induce kidney disease. “Some herbal medicines have metabolites that destroy kidneys or may interact with the  medicines given by doctors. It is best to consult a medical doctor before taking any herbal medicines.”
The common causes of renal disease are diabetis melllitus and hypertension. The usual symptoms are edema around the eyes and the ankle, difficult and painful urination, fever, vomiting and nausea.
The kidneys are the excretory organs of the body. Its functions are filtering toxins from the body and regulating the body’s  water balance, acid base balance and blood pressure.

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