Islamabad - Around 20,000 Pakistanis die of kidney failure every year as chronic kidney disease (CKD) is rapidly growing in Pakistan due to late diagnosis, high volume of kidney stone disease and increasing number of patients with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is predicted to increase by 17 per cent over the next decade, is now recognised as global public health issue.

This information was given to the 10th Biennial PSN Conference held here organized by the Pakistan Society of Nephrology (PSN) and the event focused on Chronic Kidney Disease. This year’s theme is focused on ‘chronic kidney disease in South Asia, progression, outcome and preventive strategies.’ It is to raise awareness about the dangers of kidney disease and to send a clear message to the general public and governments that CKD is common, harmful and treatable.

During the deliberations, experts said consuming junk and low quality food, self-medication and excessive use of medicine, low water intake, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and renal stones were a few causes of the kidney disease. The disease can also be inherited and stressed to know all the possible causes of kidney diseases, living a simple and active life and adopting preventive measures to avoid complications. The best way to prevent kidney failure is early diagnosis of underlying disease and aggressive treatment.

Chronic kidney disease is the presence of kidney damage, or reduced function of the kidneys, for a period of three months or more.

They said though symptoms of CKD often go undetected until later stages of the disease, some indicators may include: high blood pressure, puffiness of the eyes, hands and feet, differences in urination (passage of bloody, cloudy or tea coloured urine; protein in urine; excessive foaming of urine; frequent passing of urine at night; passing less or difficulties passing urine), fatigue or difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite or weight and persistent generalised itching.

The experts say there is no cure for CKD but it is possible to prevent or delay disease progression through early detection, access to therapeutic intervention and lifestyle changes.

Patients with CKD can prevent or minimise the progression of the disease in early stages by taking a wellness approach to their health.

Some factors that help achieve physical, social and mental wellness in patients with kidney disease include: well-balanced diet with special attention to sodium, potassium, phosphorous, protein and fluid consumption, regular physical activity (45 to 60 minutes, four to five times a week), good blood pressure control (for those with high blood pressure) and good control of blood glucose (for those with diabetes), weight control and stopping smoking.