Know your Kidney-quotient


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Know your Kidney-quotient

Every year, 2 lakh patients in India suffer from kidney failure and require a transplant. However, of these only 5,000 can afford to find a matching donor — it costs around Rs 4-7 lakhs to get a kidney transplant.

With high blood pressure and diabetes reaching epidemic levels in the country, our risk of contracting a chronic kidney disease (CKD) has also increased.

City-based nephrologist Dr Umesh Khanna says, one in seven diabetic patients, and one in five patients of high BP, suffer from CKD as well. But, knowing your body and understanding its warning signals can help detect CKD at an earlier, preventable stage, adds Khanna, the chairman of the Mumbai Kidney Foundation which works towards better kidney awareness in the city along with running dialysis centres for the underprivileged. On World Kidney Day (March 13), take this quiz to find out how prepared you are to take care of this beanshaped organ:

The most common symptom of a kidney disease is:
a. Weakness
b. Decrease in urine output
c. Swelling in the legs
d. All of the above
Answer D: Dr Khanna says that a kidney disease is a silent killer, as most patients won't have any covert symptoms. However, many patients complain of swelling in the face or legs due to water retention and decreased urine output or foamy urine, generalised weakness due to anaemia or unexplained high blood pressure, especially in a young person. Swelling in the face and legs and less urine output are the first symptoms of kidney failure.

There is no single test to check for CKD.
a. True
b. False
Answer B: The primary function of the kidneys is the excretion of waste products resulting from protein metabolism and muscle contraction. The blood filtration process is affected, leading to leakage of protein in the urine. A simple Preventive Kidney Function Test — which requires you to pass urine on a stick — can help detect (within 30 seconds) kidney disease at an early stage.

Coconut water and fruit juices are healthy, even for those suffering from CKD.
a. True
b. False
Answer B: Fruits, juices and coconut water are commonly thought of as nutritious, says Dr Khanna, but they are harmful for CKD patients as they are a rich source of potassium. Because the kidneys are unable to flush out the excess, the level of potassium in the body increases which can paralyse the heart.

How many nephrons does the average kidney contain?
a. 100-500
b. 1 billion
c. 800000-1 million
d. 4
Answer C: Nephron is the basic functional and structural unit of the kidney. They are responsible for maintaining the concentrations of water and soluble substances in the blood and regulating blood volume, blood pressure, and the blood's pH or acidity. This structure works by filtering the blood, reabsorbing nutrients, and excreting excess water and waste as urine.

Who are at a higher risk of kidney damage?
a. Diabetes and BP patients
b. Senior citizens
c. Those suffering from urinary tract infections
d. All of the above
Answer D: Khanna says high BP leads to high blood flow in the body, which in turn damage blood vessels throughout the body. High sugar can make the kidneys filter too much blood. Painkillers are blood thinners, which again affects the kidney. UTI, if left untreated, can result in the bacteria travelling to the kidney and causing a kidney infection. Kidney damage causes waste to accumulate in the body, which can result in heart disease and weak bones.

Which vitamin needs help from the kidney to get activated?
a. Vitamin D
b. Vitamin C
c. Vitamin K
d. Vitamin B12
Answer A: The kidney produces a bone-forming hormone called erythropoietin. However, when the organ suffers, the production of this hormone is affected. This results in weak or brittle bones and muscle weakness. The kidney is also responsible for activating Vitamin D, which develops strength in the bones and muscles. The kidneys convert the prehormone calcifediol into calcitriol, the biologically active part of Vitamin D.

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