Kidney damage is a silent killer. 1.7 million Dutch people currently have chronic kidney damage, but many are not aware of it. That’s a big problem. A person over 55 with kidney damage lives on average seven years shorter.
The Kidney Foundation is holding a collection this week and asked Dutch people about their knowledge about the kidneys. Eight in ten appear to think that mild or moderate kidney damage will be noticed. But that is not the case.
Causes include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking and eating too much salt, but well-known painkillers such as ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac can also damage the kidneys. “But only if you use these painkillers excessively and for a long time, without the supervision of a doctor. So you can safely take a painkiller occasionally if you have joint pain,” says kidney doctor Ron Gansevoort of the UMCG against the AD.
Kidney damage occurs when the kidneys function less than 60 percent. The risk of this increases with age, but young people can also suffer kidney damage. “Kidney diseases are partly hereditary in nature. That is why I recommend everyone, regardless of age, with a kidney patient in their family, to be screened.”
Itching and fatigue
Especially because you hardly notice it and if it is discovered, a kidney transplant or dialysis is often required. “You hardly notice anything until your kidneys are only functioning at about 30 percent. And if you do have complaints, they are not specific. When you have itching, are tired, lose weight and have less appetite, you do not immediately think of kidney disease,” said Gansevoort.
What you can do to prevent kidney damage? It’s easy to guess: eat healthy, get enough exercise, not be too fat, don’t eat too much salt and don’t smoke. Gansevoort: “Men aged 40 and over and women aged 50 and over can have (blood) tests done by their GP to check kidney function and protein loss in the urine. If the values are good, this really does not need to be repeated every year. .”
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