A doctor and a registered nutritionist have sought to raise awareness about the harmful consequences of renal disease, and added that residents can stave off the disease by making healthy lifestyle changes.
According to general practitioner Dr Leslie Walwyn, “being overweight carries along risk factors”, and people who are obese often develop end-stage kidney disease which is when the kidneys can no longer function.
“Caribbean people all ‘know’ how to eat and they don’t think they need a dietitian or nutritionist but yet still about 50 per cent of us are obese in the region and for the first time in history, our children are fatter than what we are as adults, so it’s a very scary thing,” Dr Walwyn said.
She noted that kidney disease is life altering and is very traumatic to the patient because the symptoms are serious.
“The thing with kidney disease is that when these conditions are affecting us they don’t affect one kidney and then the next; they are damaging both kidneys simultaneously,” the medical professional said.
The doctor said that in order to survive, the kidney disease patient has to undergo a very labourious and expensive procedure – dialysis – three or four times a week.
Dialysis is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood and is used primarily as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with kidney disease.
Similarly, Samantha Moitt, a registered nutritionist, said that while obesity is preventable and treatable, reversing chronic kidney disease will require concerted efforts, not just from medical providers, but from the entire society.
The two professionals were panellists on OBSERVER AM yesterday to mark World Kidney Day, which was being observed under the theme Kidney Disease and Obesity.