By Ma. Cristina C. Arzadon
An expert on renal diseases said ignoring the urge to urinate, especially among children, is one of the common causes of kidney failure.
Dr. Wilfredo Magcalas, coordinator of the Renal Disease Control Program, advised parents to remind their children to urinate frequently to prevent them acquiring kidney diseases later on in their adult lives.
Magcalas was the speaker during the regular Kapihan with the Ilocos Norte media that the Philippine Information Agency hosted recently.
He said a National Kidney and Transplant Institute study in 2000 showed high abnormalities in the urinalysis of schoolchildren.
Apart from frequent urination, Magcalas said other ways to protect the kidneys include lifestyle modification, regular exercise, healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight, drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessive salt, avoid smoking, annual physical check up, doctor’s consultation for any symptoms and avoiding the intake of medicine and herbal supplements without doctor’s advice.
Asked why there was a need for an advocacy on kidney disease prevention, Magcalas said renal diseases remain the tenth leading cause of death in the Philippines which prompts government action.
“Government resources will be spent judiciously if it works on the prevention aspect of renal diseases instead of spending millions of government money in treating kidney-associated ailments,” he said.
“For example, dialysis costs range from P2,500 to P3,000 per session while kidney transplant ranges from P500,000 to P1 million excluding expenses for laboratory and medicines,” he added.
Magcalas said at least 210 patients are undergoing chemo dialysis in different public hospitals in the province for 2011.
Of the incidents, 50 percent were diagnosed with diabetes, 25 percent with hypertension and 15 percent with glomerulonephritis.
He also advised the public, especially those suffering from elevated blood pressure, to control their BPs 24 hours a day and not only when the need arises.
“Uncontrolled blood pressure leads to heart attack or stroke,” he warned.
He said anti-hypertensive medicines, whether branded or generic, are effective in controlling elevated blood pressure. He said branded medicines are not necessarily more effective than their generic counterparts.
“It would depend what is applicable to a patient. If a generic medicine is applicable and effective, then I recommend the generic instead of the more expensive branded ones,” he said. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)