Irene Tria | Vigorbuddy
The Department of Health (DOH) reported that one person dies every hour from kidney failure. More than 7,000 cases of kidney failure in the country are recorded every year. This means kidney failure is the ninth leading cause of death among Filipinos.
According to Dr. Aileen Riego-Javier, NKTI executive director, said that for every 1 million Filipinos, 120 of them are most likely to develop kidney failure, approximately 10,000 people need to replace their kidney function.
The kidneys play key roles in body function, not only by filtering the blood and getting rid of waste products, but also by balancing the electrolyte levels in the body, controlling blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells.
All the blood in the bodies passes through the kidneys several times a day. The kidneys remove wastes, control the body’s fluid balance, and regulate the balance of electrolytes. As the kidneys filter blood, they create urine, which collects in the kidneys’ pelvis — funnel-shaped structures that drain down tubes called ureters to the bladder.
Each kidney contains around a million units called nephrons, each of which is a microscopic filter for blood. It’s possible to lose as much as 90% of kidney function without experiencing any symptoms or problems.
“If your kidneys fail, you need treatment to replace the work they normally do. Before dialysis was available, total kidney failure means death. Today people with kidney failure can live, because of treatments such as dialysis and kidney transplant.” the National Institute of Health in the United States says.
Among patients with kidney failure in the Philippines, only 86 percent could undergo dialysis and only 14 percent could undergo transplantation because of high cost of treatment. Dialysis cost around P60,000 to 70,000/month that’s P720,000 to 840,000 a year, plus laboratory tests and medicines. While a transplant cost half-a-million pesos to P1 million for one-time surgery.
In the book of Dr. Willie Ong and his wife, Dr. Liza Ong, Stay Younger, Live Healthier,thera are 10 ways to protect kidneys based on their interview with Dr. Elizabeth Montemayor, a nephrologist at the Philippines General Hospital:
- Limit your salt intake.
- Don’t load up on high-protein foods, such as meat and steaks.
- Keep your blood pressure at 130/80 or lower.
- Keep your blood sugar below 120mg/dl.
- Drink eight glasses of water a day.
- Watch your intake of pain relievers and other drugs.
- Be careful with tests and procedures using contrast dyes.
- Don’t drink too much Vitamin C.
- Don’t rely on food supplements to protect your kidneys.
- Get a kidney check-up.
Prevention is better than cure. Start now while you’re still young before it’s already too late. Protect your kidneys.