Swollen eyes, anemia could be signs of kidney problems: study

Swelling around the eyes and legs, anemia and occasional headaches and vomiting could be warning signs of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to experts from King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow.

The official head of the nephrology department, Prof. Vishvajeet Singh, said: “Chronic renal failure is difficult to detect in its early stages due to its veiled symptoms. Almost 60% of patients reach the end stage of the disease. At that point, dialysis or organ transplant is the only option left.”

He warned that if anyone witnessed swelling of the limbs (especially eyes and legs), low hemoglobin, headaches and occasional vomiting, they should see a nephrologist, especially if he also had high blood pressure or diabetes.

“If a patient is diagnosed at an early stage, they can be managed with medication,” Prof Singh said.

Nephrologist Dr Lakshya Kumar said, “The number of chronic kidney diseases is increasing over the years because one in three people in India suffer from hypertension. Of these, more than 60% do not know that they have it. And others who know, only 50% end up taking their medication. Therefore, due to continuous high blood pressure, the tiny blood vessels of the kidneys are damaged.”

However, people could avoid chronic kidney disease by following a healthy diet, managing stress and exercising regularly, Dr. Kumar added.

Chief Medical Superintendent, Prof. SN Shankhwar advised that low hemoglobin or severe anemia could be due to the kidneys not producing enough erythropoietin hormone.

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