Health

Experts confirm that Covid-19 can damage your kidneys as well

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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People with an underlying kidney disease have felt the blow of a Covid-19 more, leading to very severe illnesses and sometimes even resulting in death.

Covid-19 can badly affect kidneys of even those people who did not have any history of kidney diseases earlier. The deadly virus has caused serious long-term kidney damage in people to the extent that they needed dialysis, said a nephrologist.

While coronavirus is known to affect lungs, its damage to other organs like brain, heart and kidney is now being studied.

“Covid has been causing a lot of serious kidney issues even in people who were not affected by any kind of kidney ailment earlier. Many people affected by Covid have been showing signs of kidney damage, some so severe to the extent that they have required dialysis. Almost 30% of all people who have suffered from Covid infection have had kidney problems. People who had underlying kidney disease if they had Covid infection, they had very severe illnesses sometimes resulting in death,” said Dr Samir Tawakley, Sr Consultant- Nephrology at Apollo Hospitals in a FB live session.

kidneys
Keep an eye out on kidney problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Elderly who are over 60 years of age, people with diabetes, with hypertension, those who have heart problems and obese are at a high risk of developing kidney related complications.

The expert says Covid can either cause direct damage to the cells of the kidney, or increase blood clotting that reduces blood flow to kidneys. He adds that reduced oxygen level in blood also has a damaging effect on kidney structure.

Opening up on the symptoms of a person who has kidney disease due to Covid, Dr Tawakley said the person will have reduced urine output, swelling all over the body, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, restlessness, weakness and in severe cases confusion, coma and seizures.

The expert however says that the Covid infection does not only necessarily cause chronic problems, and can also cause acute kidney injury which in most circumstances in reversible.

Covid-19 and kidney damage
Get vaccinated ASAP! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Almost 35% more chances of developing a chronic kidney problem are there if you have had a covid infection as compared to the person who did not have a covid infection,” says Dr Tawakley.

The doctor advises to follow all prevention measures like sanitisation, mask and social distancing to ward off risk of getting Covid. He also says that patients who require dialysis should not miss it at any cost.

He also advises kidney patients to get fully vaccinated as that could protect them from serious illness in case of infection.

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