Obesity a major cause of kidney ailments

Obesity a major cause of kidney ailments
Obesity a major cause of kidney ailments
Obesity is often not considered a serious health issue but it’s at the root of several lifestyle ailments and complications affecting the people. Name any major modern-day ailment and obesity increases the risk factor for these by several notches. Some such ailments include cardiac disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, fatty liver, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, various cancers, psychological problems and so on. Worse, obesity directly or indirectly can damage the kidneys.

Keeping the co-relation between the two in view, the theme for this year’s World Kidney Day (March 9) is ‘Obesity and Kidney disease: Healthy lifestyle for healthy kidneys’. Doctors observe that around 50 per cent of kidney failure cases are those of diabetic patients. And in 30-40 per cent kidney ailment cases, the patients are obese and overweight if not diabetic.

As per the International Federation of Kidney Foundation, by 2025 obesity will affect 18 per cent men and over 21 per cent women worldwide. The urban population is more prone to obesity-related kidney ailments due to their sedentary lifestyle.

 The two kidneys filter the blood to produce urine through which the waste can be excreted from the body. They also maintain fluid balance, regulate the ions known as electrolytes in the blood, and ensure acid-base balance. They are also responsible for the re-absorption of water, glucose, and amino acids.

Dr P Sriram Naveen, consultant nephrologist from Mycure Hospital, said, “With sedentary lifestyle, smartphone and fast food culture catching up, obesity has become a global problem. Though worldwide, a person with Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 30 is considered obese and BMI more than 25 is considered overweight, for smaller-built Asians, BMI more than 27.5 is considered obese and more than 23 is considered overweight. For every one point increase in BMI, the risk for developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) goes up by 7-10 per cent. Among those coming to us with kidney ailments, we find out of every 10 patients 3-4 are overweight and obese. People of all ages can be afflicted by kidney disease but those in their 20s and 30s are also at risk besides children as obesity is noticed among the young generation as well.”

Renowned nephrologist and vice-chancellor of NTR Health University Dr T Ravi Raju elaborated the types of kidney diseases linked to obesity. Obesity is directly linked to diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and metabolic syndrome. The diseases in turn damage the kidneys. Besides this indirect fallout, obesity can directly cause kidney damage due to protein loss in urine. It’s called glomerulonephritis

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