April 14, 2015
‘Chronic kidney disease does not get the attention it deserves’ – Browne-Caesar

The gallery of the National Post Office was recently turned into a stage for many local artistes who volunteered their time and talent to join the SVG Dialysis Association Inc’s initiative and raise funds for kidney patients.

On March 27, members of the public had the opportunity {{more}}to donate funds for kidney disease patients in St Vincent and the Grenadines so that they can afford dialysis treatment.

In addition to offering free blood pressure checks to the public, passers-by also had the chance to gain valuable information from health workers and Dr Twanna Browne-Caesar.

“Chronic kidney disease does not get the attention it deserves,” Browne-Caesar, who specializes in nephrology, declared.

“A lot of patients with chronic kidney disease, they are not aware that they have the kidney disease until they reach quite an advanced stage.”

The doctor pointed out that persons with hypertension, diabetes or with relatives suffering from kidney disease are at risk of developing the disease. Additionally, she noted that early detection is the best way to manage costs and health issues related to kidney disease.

“A urine test is a very cheap way to see if you are spilling proteins in your urine. That’s one way to find out if you have chronic kidney disease or not. The other way is to do a blood test. Some people argue that its not cost effective for persons with chronic kidney disease or the general population to be screened with blood tests,” Browne-Caesar said.

“The cost for caring patients who have chronic kidney disease significantly increases as the disease advances. So, patients who have mild kidney disease, we’re talking about it being at least twice as much as a person who does not have chronic kidney disease on a monthly basis (routine checks).”

The nephrologist noted that once patients begin renal replacement therapy (dialysis), then the cost is at least 10 times what an individual will pay doing routine checks. Also, she noted that the goal for kidney patients should be to slow the disease’s progression by managing their hypertension or diabetes, stop smoking and exercise at least 150 minutes a week.

Officers in the Ministry of Health also shared tips on what kidney disease patients should and should not consume. It was advised that persons with the disease are allowed to consume cherry pulp, mandarin and oranges that are canned in water, moderate use of pineapple juice, fresh oranges, apple juice, star apple juice, grape juice, guavas, peaches, tangerines and watermelons.

Foods that are high in beta-carotene, such as pumpkin and pawpaw, as well as green, leafy vegetables like callalloo and patchoi should be avoided. Also, foods rich in potassium should not be consumed.(BK)