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Kidney failure cases on the rise

The doctor said 14,000 kidney patients are registered with the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation.

By Irfan Mohammed / Arab news / 28 Mar 2014

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is facing a rise of five percent of annual increase in incidents related to kidney failure, a leading doctor said here on Monday.

Wael T. Habhab, a nephrology consultant at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said several factors including a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, junk food, and erratic work schedules are contributing to the worrying kidney problems.

Young kidney patients are at risk of suffering from chronic disorders, he said and added the best way to prevent kidney damage was to change lifestyles and undergo regular checkups.

In the Kingdom, nearly 40 percent of diabetics can be affected by chronic kidney disorders, said Habhab.

The doctor said 14,000 kidney patients are registered with the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation.

His hospital transplanted over 112 kidneys last year with a 98.99 percent success rate. The hospital performs the second-highest number of transplants in the Kingdom.

He said kidney damage usually happens without any major symptoms.

Even if the function of a person’s kidney was reduced by 90 percent, the physical indications were not serious. “Patients only experience weakness, swelling of their legs, and sometimes blood in their urine.

So the severity of it is unclear to them. It’s a silent killer.”

Habhab said uncontrolled blood sugar levels triggered by diabetes affect the kidney’s membrane that is pivotal as a filter of protein in the body. Excess protein loss leads to chronic kidney disorders.

Once chronic patients reach stage five, the last stage of the disease, the results could be fatal because there is less than 15 percent functioning, he said.

He said people should keep an eye on blood sugar levels, cholesterol, eating habits, and water intake.

They should also exercise, and reduce their intake of salt, oily and fried foods.

“Excessive consumption of non-vegetarian food also increases the burden on the kidneys,” he said.

Apart from diabetes, hypertension, hereditary causes, autoimmune diseases, and excessive use of medication such as painkillers are among the main causes of kidney disease, he said.

Habhab said that doctors only perform transplants after intensive clinical investigation, to check whether patients’ bodies would accept a donor kidney.
He said that a transplant could ensure a person lives a longer life.
Donors giving one of their kidneys would not be adversely affected, he said.



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