Don’t kid with your kidneys, expert tells the public on World Kidney Day

Dr. Khaled Abouzeid

JEDDAH —Chronic kidney disease (CKD) causes 2.4 million deaths per year around the world and is now the 6th fastest growing cause of death. Around 850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes.

On the occasion of the World Kidney Day, which is marked on March 14 every year, Dr. Khaled Abouzeid, head of Kidney Transplantation at Saudi German Hospital Jeddah, has called for greater efforts to create awareness about kidney health.

Although there is limited data available in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abouzeid is seeing both incidence and prevalence of kidney diseases increasing throughout the Kingdom and the rest of the Gulf due to unhealthy lifestyles.

“A healthy kidney is essential for maintenance of life,” Dr. Abouzeid explains. “There are several vital functions the kidney has for the human body, including removal of waste products and excess body water from blood. Kidneys also help control blood pressure, produce red blood cells and keep bones healthy. It is important patients look after their kidneys, so that complications such as chronic kidney disease will not result in later life.”

For patients with chronic kidney disease who gradually lose kidney function, two options are available: kidney transplant or dialysis.

Discussing the comparisons between dialysis and kidney transplantation, Dr. Abouzeid explains, “Kidney transplants are preferred over dialysis. Kidney transplants allow for nearly normal kidney functions and higher quality of life. After kidney transplants, the patient regains the majority of their usual lifestyle back, with it also helping to extend a patient’s life expectancy by 8 to 10 years. However, kidney transplantation is not always possible due to a lack of donors among first-degree relatives.”

Last year, Saudi German Hospital Jeddah conducted six kidney transplantation surgeries with a 100 percent success rate and it expects to see this number double this year.

“Every day, there are innovations and breakthroughs being made in the nephrology field,” Dr. Abouzeid explained. “At Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah, we offer the latest services and advances in multiple sub-specialties in nephrology, including kidney transplantation, hemodialysis and plasma exchange therapy. We also offer and pride ourselves on the highest level of patient experience. Having satisfied and happy patients is the most important and rewarding aspect of my job.”

Dr. Abouzeid, who has been involved in over 3,000 kidney transplants in the UK, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, expects to see in the next 5 to 10 years, Saudi German Hospital adopting cutting edge innovations in nephrology, such as stem cell kidney regeneration, to further benefit patients in Saudi Arabia. — SG

Golden rules

Increase physical activity: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

Drink plenty of water: Aim for 6-8 glasses of water a day.

Monitor weight and eat a healthy diet: Avoid

processed foods and choose fresh fruit and vegetables.

Quit smoking: The strongest modifiable risk factor

for kidney disease is smoking. Smoking is also a risk factor for

high blood pressure which can cause both heart and

kidney disease.

Avoid toxic medications.

Visit your doctor for a routine checkup.