March 8th, 2018 is observed as World Kidney Day. The theme for World Kidney Day 2018 is ‘Kidney Disease and Women’s Health aligned with International Women’.

Kidney disease reduces the ability of the organ to remove, metabolic waste products and extra water out of your blood and thus cause water and electrolyte imbalance in the body. Other functions of kidney such as blood pressure regulation, biological activation of vitamin D and stimulation of red blood cell production are impaired in patients with kidney disease. According to the research by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, women are more prone to suffer from long-term kidney disease. Awareness about kidney related diseases is abysmally low in India, especially among women. It is this ignorance coupled with inaccessible healthcare education that leads to the disease being diagnosed at advanced stages among the women population. Furthermore, in most cases, women tend to procrastinate, when it comes to getting tested which adds to the problem.

Dr Bhavesh Vora, Senior Nephrologist at Asian Heart Institute, Breach Candy and Sushrut Hospital, Mumbai & Treasurer, Amar Gandhi Foundation says, one such risk factor that most women are unaware is the fact that high blood pressure can put you at risk of kidney disease. The risk is increased further during pregnancy. Urine test at the time of pregnancy along with antenatal care can help diagnose the condition at an early stage and prevent kidney disease. An increase in the blood pressure during pregnancy, known as pre-eclampsia or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, is commonly seen in young women these days. This is a cause of concern for young mothers as it can put the pressure on the kidneys. Moreover, high blood pressure during pregnancy can not only lead to complications during delivery but also put you at risk of kidney disease at a later stage of life. Hence, every pregnant woman should check her blood pressure during pregnancy and also follow up about changes in blood pressure after delivery to detect kidney problems at an early stage, if any. Also read Amar Gandhi Foundation, to launch “ek chammach kam”, a campaign to limit salt intake.

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