Chronic kidney disease: Healthy habits elderly people should adopt for healthy kidneys

The prevalence of chronic kidney disease among the elderly population is high in India. Here are some healthy habits the elderly should adopt for healthy kidneys.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a major public health problem among elderly patients. Kidney disease can develop at any point of time. But those over the age of 60 are at a greater risk of CKD. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease among the elderly population is high in India. But many people are unaware of kidney disease and thus go unreported, which increases morbidity risk in patients. The patients having kidney disease may require dialysis or even a kidney transplant.

We spoke to Dr. Mahesh Prasad, Consultant Nephrologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai, to learn more about the growing treat of CKD among the aging population including the causes, risk factors and prevention. The following are excerpts from that conversation:

Q. What are the major reasons behind the upsurge of CKD in the elderly population?

A: Having a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. CKD is more common among those over the age of 60. This is because as people become older, their kidneys also age with time. Not treating kidney disease at the right time can lead to kidney failure.

Q. Can you elaborate on the current scenario of CKD amongst the aging population (statistics)?

A: Reportedly, 1 in 10 people are affected by kidney disease, worldwide. Millions of people have kidney disease globally and it requires immediate attention. Currently, the exact figures of the elderly population are not clear as many cases of the patients go unnoticed.

Q. What are the symptoms of severe CKD that one should not neglect?

A: Blood in the urine, swelling of the legs and ankles, high blood pressure, poor appetite, tiredness, pain around the kidney area, chance in the appearance of one’s urine, sleep issues, and vomiting are some of the symptoms of the kidney disease.

Q. How does CKD affect the quality of the elderly life?

A: Those having a chronic kidney disease will have to make regular trips to the hospital, they will have to depend on their family members, relatives, or friends for doing their daily chores, they will require dialysis or kidney transplantation, and their life span maybe reduced.

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Q. What food should be strictly avoided for healthy kidneys and what food should be included in your diet?

A: Avoid sods, avocados, canned foods, dairy products, bananas, pickles, potatoes, tomatoes, instant food, chips, cakes, and fruits loaded with potassium. Eat blueberries, garlic, olive oil, cabbage, buckwheat, bell peppers, radish, onions, and cranberries.

Q. What healthy habits the elderly should adopt for healthy kidneys?

A: Exercise and activities that you like. You can opt for walking and yoga. Don’t smoke or consume alcohol. Drink water as suggested by the doctor. Keep your weight in control and control your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Q. How should patients suffering from diabetes for a prolonged period take care of kidneys?

A: Maintain your blood pressure within the range recommended by the expert. Don’t forget to take medication as suggested by the expert. Get your regular diabetes tests and monitor your kidney function as well. Do not get stressed and lead a healthy life.

Q. What is the treatment and how often they should visit a doctor?

A: The treatment will vary from one person to another. You will strictly need to follow the guidelines suggested by the doctor. If you want to improve your quality of life, then make sure that your kidneys are in top shape.

Q. When do elderly patients need to undergo dialysis?

A: Patients having comorbidities like poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension will suffer from kidney disease and may require to be on dialysis for their entire life. You will need your family’s support if you are on dialysis.

Q. In what situation can there be complications in undergoing dialysis?

A: Dialysis will not be a good option for people over age 75 having problems like dementia or ischemic heart disease along with end-stage kidney disease. You will have to seek your doctor’s advice before undergoing dialysis.

Q. Leave a takeaway message for the elderly people dealing with CKD?

A: Elderly should try to manage their diabetes and high blood pressure by taking regular medication. You will have to stick to kidney-friendly habits throughout the life to improve your kidney health and stay healthy.

Also read: Stroke: Which hand you write with could determine your outcome

 

This post first appeared on The Health Site

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