Bengaluru: The many dangers of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) still need to enter mainstream knowledge. The theme of World Kidney Day this year, therefore, is Kidneys and Women’s Health. In their bid to increase awareness on kidney-related ailments and instill the importance of early detection, Manipal Hospitals unveiled an awareness campaign aimed at educating women on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The hospital has a host of activities lined up, including free screenings from March 8 to March 16, 2018. Women constables will also be offered free kidney tests at the Home Guard office premises.
Dr Sudarshan Ballal, Veteran Nephrologist and Chairman, Manipal Hospitals said, “Kidney disease can be controlled and prevented if we understand the circumstances and risk factors which predispose us to it. This goes a long way in preventing a patient ending up on dialysis or requiring a kidney transplant. Early kidney disease usually shows no signs and symptoms and the only way to know is blood and urine tests. It is only later in the stages of chronic kidney disease that one gets symptoms and signs like nausea, lack of appetite, swelling over body parts and altered behavior at times. The majority of chronic kidney failure patients are diagnosed in the last stage as 50% first see a nephrologist only in the last stage. It is seen that less than 5 to 10% suffering from end stage kidney disease get opportunity for either a dialysis or transplant. Despite the fact that prevalence of kidney disease is same among men and women, unfortunately very few women are treated.” “Although less than 30% of end stage renal
disease (ESRD) patients are females, it is important to highlight that less than 8-10% of them opt for any form of treatment. The reasons for this are many which might include lack of awareness and access to care. Therefore, it needs to be ensured to counsel patients regarding the three types of treatment available-transplant, hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD)- and inform them about the benefits of undergoing treatment. With respect to dialysis, most patients are aware about HD and very few know about PD.
Thus, it is crucial to explain the benefits of PD as well and in my experience, when I have informed the patients, specifically females, they have accepted this treatment mode,” said Dr Renuka S, Professor and Head of Department of Nephrology, St John’s Medical College Hospital Bengaluru.
Sadly, the symptoms in both men and women are similar. However, there are certain challenges which are unique to women. Dr Pallavi Patri, Nephrologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru adds, “there are several challenges faced by women who have CKD. Menstrual irregularities with missed periods or even cessation of menstruation can occur in later stages of CKD. Sexual dysfunction such as a decrease in libido and vaginal dryness can also occur. Moreover, fertility and pregnancy are greatly impacted by this condition and it has been observed that women who have CKD are less likely to conceive.”