“In Peru, it is estimated that there are around 20,000 patients on dialysis treatment, with a gap of patients who do not have access to treatment that is difficult to estimate. Chronic kidney disease is silent in its early stages; however, if early diagnosis is achieved, it is possible to halt its evolution and in other cases achieve a slow progression of the disease, which can avoid or delay dialysis treatment. The symptoms of this disease limit the patient’s work and general activity, also affecting his family life. It affects him systemically, both physically and mentally,” says Dr. Augusto Saavedra, nephrologist of our clinic, who gives us the following advice to ensure good kidney health:
- Maintain a healthy diet. Low salt consumption, not only when preparing food, but consider everything that already has salt: bread, butter, cheeses, packaged products, etc. Low consumption of refined sugar (foods with fructose, mainly), to regulate blood glucose levels.
- Adequate hydration. Ingesting 2 liters of liquid per day may be enough, considering the fluids already found in vegetables, fruits, and other foods.
- Moderate protein intake. The excess of protein damages our kidneys. Do not consume more than 1 g of effective protein per kilo of ideal weight (according to size), speaking of adults. Growing children and adolescents can consume up to 1.5 g per kilo.
- Avoid overweight and obesity. Carbohydrates, flour, and fats should be consumed in moderate and sufficient quantities, to avoid obesity and the diseases it entails.
- Keep fit and active. Regular physical activity is a guarantee of good health.
- Avoid self-medication. Misuse of medications can put our health at risk. Remember that you should always seek the guidance of a specialist.
- Have a routine checkup. Renal function tests are few and simple. They are performed on blood and urine, as a general rule-out. A complete urine test of the first-morning sample (looking for the presence of protein), as well as a blood creatinine value, will be sufficient. If these detect any alteration, more complete blood and urine studies are performed, as well as imaging studies (initially, an ultrasound scan is sufficient), to anatomically evaluate our kidneys and urinary tract. Among these tests, we have creatinine clearance, urine protein, blood electrolytes, and others that the nephrologist considers necessary.
Early diagnosis and intervention are key to avoiding the risks associated with kidney disease. Do not hesitate to call on our specialists.
Dr. Augusto Saavedra
Nephrologist at Clínica Ricarso Palma