Obesity is a potent risk factor for the development of kidney disease. It increases the risk of developing major risk factors of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and it has a direct impact on the development of end stage renal disease (ESRD).
Life Renal Dialysis, part of the Life Healthcare Group, this World Kidney Day encourages education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, early detection and a healthy lifestyle to increase awareness and prevention of kidney disease.
South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa, with up to 70% of women and a third of men being classified as overweight or obese. Dr Riyas Fadal, Life Healthcare Group Clinical Products Manager says, “Obesity has become a national epidemic and it has severe consequences on your health, particularly your kidneys. With healthy food choices and an increase in physical activity, you’ll notice a range of improvements in your body and this will greatly benefit your kidneys.”
In individuals affected by obesity, the kidneys have to work harder, filtering more blood than normal (hyperfiltration) to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body weight. The increased strain can damage the kidney and raise the risk of developing CKD in the long-term.
The good news is that reducing obesity may reverse or slow CKD progression. Education and awareness of the risks of obesity and a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and exercise, can dramatically help in preventing obesity and kidney disease.
“While we have the privilege of being able to manage and treat kidney disease with state of the art equipment, we still need to address prevention and early detection of kidney disease. It’s important to have routine checks with your GPs to ensure that kidney care is optimized. We also encourage not smoking, keeping fit, watching sugar intake, monitoring blood pressure, and eating a healthy and varied diet,” says Dr Fadal.
Life Renal Dialysis units
Life Renal Dialysis is a specialised healthcare service providing acute and chronic renal dialysis for patients at 20 renal dialysis units across South Africa. These specialised services assist patients with renal failure who require out-patient based chronic renal dialysis or home based peritoneal dialysis; or acute renal dialysis in hospital.
Life Renal Dialysis units offer state of the art dialysis machines and equipment that can perform different modalities of dialysis and while this is reassuring for our patients, our first priority is to help educate patients about what they will be going through and ensure that they receive the best possible care at all times.