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June 3, 2018

Kidney patients need extra care while fasting


June 3, 2018

Rawalpindi : Patients who are suffering from any of the kidney diseases or having kidneys with decreased function need extra care to avoid serious complications while opting for fasting in Ramazan and most importantly, they have to assess continuously the severity of their disease.

Majority of kidney patients can fast but they must have to take plenty of fluids between ‘sehr’ and ‘iftar’ and in case of any problem, they must visit their physician immediately, said Head of Urology Department at Allied Hospitals Professor Zain-ul-Amir while talking to ‘The News’.

He added the kidney patients while under the fast must avoid profuse sweating, exposure to sun and exposure to severe heat and should avoid coming out of homes or offices in the hottest hours of the day. They should also avoid dehydration, he said.

There are many forms of kidney diseases like urinary tract infection, cyst around kidneys, kidney stones, acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease (CKD) which is particularly dangerous because a patient of CKD may not have any symptoms until considerable, often irreparable damage to kidney has occurred.

Professor Zain said in over 80 per cent of cases of decreased kidney functions, the major causes are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), the most common causes of CKD as well and fasting has a positive impact on both, the diabetes and blood pressure.

He however added that a patient suffering from kidney related problems should visit medical specialist for advice on diet when opting for fasting. According to Islam, fasting has great benefits for all including kidney patients if they can fast without having complications, he said.

It is important that healthy kidneys maintain a balance of water and concentration of minerals such as sodium, potassium and phosphorus in the blood and remove waste by-products from the blood after digestion. Kidneys produce rennin, an enzyme that helps regulating blood pressure. They also produce an active form of Vitamin D, needed for the health of bones while stimulate red blood cell production.

In most of the cases, one of the most common causes of acute kidney injury, the sudden loss of kidney function called as acute renal failure is dehydration and a patient with compromised kidneys must avoid dehydration while fasting, said Deputy Director at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Dr. Wasim Ahmed Khawaja.

Dr. Khawaja who is a medical specialist added that acute renal failure is a fatal condition and one must keep in mind that kidneys perform a number of life-sustaining roles in the body from cleansing blood from waste and toxins to maintaining balance of salt and minerals in the body and thus regulating blood pressure.

A patient of decreased kidney function must undergo complete medical check-up before and during Ramazan and should immediately report to the nearest healthcare facility in case of developing any complication, he said.

He added that after damage to kidneys, waste products and excess fluid starts building up in the body causing swelling in ankles, vomiting, weakness, poor sleep and shortness of breath and these symptoms should be taken seriously while under fast. “If these symptoms are left untreated, the diseased kidneys may stop functioning completely that is potentially a serious and life-threatening condition.”

Patients suffering from urinary tract infections, milder kidney stones and cyst can fast during Ramazan but after advice from their physicians. If the kidney stones are silent and are not causing pain, the person can fast but if there is pain due to stone, the patient should seek medical advice, said Dr. Khawaja.

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