The Kidneys work relentlessly by removing out toxic waste products from the body in the form of Urine and contribute to a healthy body system. However, it should be noted that kidneys too are susceptible to various types of infections which can cause large scale damages like Chronic Kidney Disease.
The past couple of years have seen the world go through something different, something more challenging than just a bacterial or a common viral infection, that has rattled the healthcare system completely. This is in the form of Covid-19, a deadly, life threatening virus, that has brought the whole world to a standstill. Such has been the influence of the virus that scientists and biologists in particular are finding it difficult to ascertain its next impact. This is because its variants, as they appear, can have a more severe impact than its earlier versions and on any part/critical organs of our body. Our kidneys are susceptible too.
Why is Covid-19 seen as a bigger threat to Kidneys?
Kidney Diseases can be chronic in nature, i. e. they can persist for a longer duration, may be one year or more. Therefore patients suffering from kidney ailments are usually put under a long duration treatment course. For e.g. patients requiring multiple sessions of Haemodialysis or Multiple Kidney Transplant Surgeries has now become common. This puts such patients at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19 because they might need multiple hospital visits or long duration stay at the hospital, depending upon the type of treatment they are taking. Also, patients with kidney ailments cannot be quarantined at home, especially those who require frequent sessions of Dialysis.
This however does not mean that patients suffering from kidney ailments should stop taking their treatment with the fear of Covid-19 in their minds. Some of the top Nephrologists working with NU Hospitals, one of the leading Kidney Care Centre in Bangalore and India, have continuously stressed upon the need to continue all important medications and treatments, irrespective of the threat of Covid-19. With the virus having a potential to affect any part of the body, doctors associated with every independent medical department, in any hospital, may it be Cardiology, Nephrology, Neurology or Pulmonology, to quote a few would have studied the respective impacts and taken measures to prevent Covid 19 from affecting patients with Chronic Illness.
How can Covid-19 affect the Kidneys?
Covid-19 does have the ability to cause a decline in kidney functioning, even among those patients, who have never had a history of kidney ailments! Though studies in this respect are still continuing, data accumulated so far shows indications of possibilities of Acute Kidney Failure, mainly due to blood clotting and inflammation. However, there is no reason to either panic or worry as Nephrologists across our country and around the world have devised guidelines to be followed to protect patients with kidney disease from contacting Covid-19 virus.
Covid-19 guidance for patients with Kidney Disease
While people at any age can get affected by the Covid-19 virus, studies and surveys have proven that older adults with Chronic Kidney Disease and Comorbid conditions including Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer Patients and People with history of Cardiac problems are at a higher risk.
Looking into complete safety of patients suffering from Kidney Disease, Nephrologists suggest the following measures to stay protected against Covid-19.
- Patients who are on Haemodialysis should not miss scheduled treatments at any cost. Slight symptoms of any sickness or illness should be immediately reported to the treating Nephrologist.
- For those patients who have undergone kidney transplant, it is important to maintain good hygiene and take all medications as prescribed by the Nephrologists. Keep your treating doctor informed about any variations in health at any point especially those symptoms which are related to Covid-
- Wearing of mask is extremely important when you are both indoors and outdoors.
- Strictly follow the Nephrologists instructions in case you have been a Covid-19 patient as there is a significant risk of developing Acute Kidney Injury.
- It’s recommended that recovered COVID-19 patients who had an Acute Kidney Infection or Acute Renal Failure should be seen regularly by a Nephrologist, because their risk of developing chronic kidney disease is higher than others.
- Follow Covid-19 safety protocols at all times to stay safe from the virus.
- With Vaccinations now available, it is advisable to take both the dozes of Covid-19 vaccines under guidance and instructions of your Nephrologists.
- Follow strict medications as prescribed by your Nephrologists only. Do not take any alternative medicines without the advice of your doctors at any point of time.
- If you are on any cardiac, blood pressure or diabetes related medications, it is advisable to continue them with proper information to your doctor.
- Follow strictly diet instructions as advised by doctors/ dieticians.
Knowledge is power
The best way to stay from being taken for a ride is to strictly adhere to medical guidance given by your medical experts. There is every possibility to get carried away by rumours. Stay clear from them. Any suitable new drug/ treatment available to secure you against Covid-19 will be notified to you by your doctors at the appropriate time.
The Bottom Line
Covid-19 continues to test the healthcare system day in and day out. Till date, there is no cure from this dreaded virus. Only strict precautionary measures and following CoVID-19 safety protocols seem to be the answers. Nephrologists at NU Hospitals, one of the established and well-known Kidney Hospitals across India, have treated patients who have had Kidney disorders and have been tested Covid positive. A proper counselling about do’s and don’ts is essential to stay on the right track.
For more guidance on how to stay safe from Covid-19 if you have had issues related to your kidneys, feel free to connect with our medical experts at NU Hospitals. Compassionate Doctors and Caring Nursing staff will take care of you.