Health Experts Call for Early Intervention, Teach ‘8 Golden Rules’ to Fight Chronic Kidney Disease

L-R) Dr. Agnes Cruz, Philippine Society of Nephrology (PSN) External Affairs Head; Dr. Vimar Luz, PSN Secretary and STOP CKD Advocacy Head; and Dr. Cyril Tolosa, AstraZeneca Philippines Medical Affairs Director discuss CKD prevention in the first-ever Agham Kapihan

The Philippine Society of Nephrology (PSN), represented by Dr. Vimar Luz, advocated for “eight golden rules” for healthier kidneys through a media roundtable called Agham Kapihan, which was held recently in Makati City in observance of the National Kidney Month.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) had earlier expressed alarm over the 40-percent increase in new dialysis patients between 2022 and 20231. NKTI 2021 data has also shown 7 million Filipinos have worsening CKD stages (Stage 3 or above)2. STOP CKD Advocacy Head and nephrologist Dr. Luz emphasized that early screening and lifestyle changes are key to addressing the kidney disease epidemic. 

When we say dialysis, that’s end stage. Gusto natin labanan bago ka pa magkaroon ng sakit sa bato,” said Luz. 

Golden Rule 1: Exercise Regularly 

Luz recommends maintaining one’s ideal body weight. Daily exercise, even in small fractions, could go a long way.  

Golden Rule 2: Eat a healthy diet 

Luz cited a study showing that high intake of ultra-processed food has been associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease3. 

Minsan ‘yung mga parents, mga lolo, lola ang mga culprit sa pagpapakain ng junk food sa mga [bata],” lamented Dr. Agnes Cruz, PSN External Affairs Head and a fellow nephrologist. 

Golden Rule 3: Control blood sugar 

Following a healthy diet helps in maintaining a normal blood sugar level.

Golden Rule 4: Control blood pressure 

The elderly and the middle-aged are especially advised to always monitor their blood pressure and blood sugar. 

Golden Rule 5: Drink adequate water 

Consuming enough water to stay hydrated is crucial to maintaining kidney health. 

Golden Rule 6: Stop smoking 

Smoking cessation would also prevent stroke, heart attack, and other complications. 

Golden Rule 7: Don’t abuse pain relievers and supplements 

PSN warns that excess intake of supplements could lead to kidney damage. It’s always best to consult with a doctor before taking a supplement of any kind. 

Golden Rule 8: Have a regular checkup

For those with a family history of diabetes and hypertension, it’s best to get early CKD screening. 

The health experts agreed that prevention is the best way to win the battle against CKD. “We are transforming CKD care to drive earlier diagnosis and intervention and help prevent or slow progression of the disease,” said Dr. Cyril Tolosa, Medical Affairs Director of AstraZeneca Philippines. “Since 2022, we have been partnering with the Philippine Society of Nephrology through the STOP CKD program, which has allowed us to impact thousands of primary care physicians in a series of capability-building engagements all over the Philippines, united in the goal to drive earlier diagnosis and help prevent or slow progression of chronic kidney disease in a series of engagements with healthcare professionals.” 

AstraZeneca has also been promoting CKD awareness online through Kidney Patrol, a social media page that promotes kidney health. The page runs an online questionnaire called CKD Risk Quiz. Filipinos can take this quiz to assess their risks and be proactive about kidney health. 

Ang sakit sa bato ay maaaring maiwasan. Hindi lahat ng CKD ay dapat mauwi sa dialysis,” said Luz. 

Agham Kapihan is a series of media roundtable discussions that seek to bring into light matters of science and health and advocate for innovation that benefits Filipinos. The forum is supported by AstraZeneca as part of its commitment to improving the lives of millions of patients together with its partners across the healthcare ecosystem. 

Written by Village Connect

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