About 85 crore people across the globe have some kidney disease. Based on rough estimates, about 10 crore people have chronic kidney disease (irreversible kidney failure) in India, says the local Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
On the eve of World Kidney Day, whose theme is “Bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney care”, the hospital says among those with kidney disease, about three lakh patients progress to end-stage kidney disease every year in India, which implies requirement of either dialysis or kidney transplant.
While the government has stepped in recently to provide aid in the form of the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme, the cost of dialysis or kidney transplant has been prohibitive to most sections of society. Hence, the focus should be on prevention, early detection, and retardation of progression of kidney disease to better kidney care.
PGI’s Department of Nephrology has tried to extend public awareness about kidney diseases by addressing some commonly encountered queries.
Should every adult get tested for kidney disease or are there any specific high-risk group who should get tested?
A doctor at the PGI said: “Not every adult needs to get tested for kidney disease. There are certain high-risk group of people who should get tested on the detection of the risk, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and renal stone disease.”
Experts told IANS that time-tested ayurvedic herbs like Punarnava, Gokhuru and Varuna can be saviour for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) which are on rise due to various reasons.
K.N. Dwivedi, Dean, Faculty of Ayurveda, Banaras Hindy University (BHU), says the herbs are life-saver as they can help rejuvenate the cells of the damaged kidney.
“NEERI-KFT is one such ayurvedic drug based on kidney-friendly medicinal plants like Punarnava, Ashwagandha and Guduchi having anti-oxidants properties.”
While the well-known diuretic herbs like Varuna is a good blood purifier that helps maintaining homeostasis, Gokhuru is beneficial in rejuvenating kidney’s nephrons, Dwivedi said, adding several patients have found such formulations beneficial.
He said if detected properly and in time, CKD can be cured with the help of extracts from these identified herbs.
More the delay in detection, the longer is the treatment, he warned.
“When detected early, the dialysis cycle can be brought down with the help of the poly-herbal formulation which helps in strengthening the kidney,” he explained.
Developed by AIMIL Pharmaceuticals after intensive research, benefits of NEERI-KFT in managing CKD, have been mentioned in studies published in journals like Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences.
“If the ayurvedic formulation is prescribed in early stages of the CKD, the kidney can be saved from getting damaged. Its usage has been found to be reducing levels of creatinine, urea and uric acid,” Dwivedi said.
In fact, NEERI-KFT has also been found to control TNF Alfa too, an indicator of disruption in the kidney, as well as in protecting the organ from dietary AGEs, harmful compounds caused by poor eating habits.
CKD is a serious progressive medical condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function, usually accompanied by other comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, heart failure and stroke) and diabetes, eventually leading to kidney failure.
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US at least 15 per cent people are suffering from CKD.
In India, the figure is around 40 per cent of the total population with rising diabetes and high blood pressure adding to the woes.
Treatment has become a challenge during the Covid-19 times, say the doctors while as per the World Health Organisation (WHO), CKD is becoming one of the leading causes of death globally.