In case you think kidney disease is something you don’t need to worry about, consider this:
In 2016, the cost of a kidney transplant was anywhere between INR 5 lakh and INR 10 lakh, and this number has risen since . The leading risk factors will surely be familiar to you too: hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
But most alarmingly, did you know that women are five times more likely than men to contract Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
CKD in women leads to a unique set of health issues that must be planned for, both financially, emotionally and physically. Here’s a list of some consequences of CKD in women:
Menstruation related issues
CKD can cause excessive bleeding or inconsistent cycles or both. When you begin dialysis, the issue of irregular menstruation could get worse, and you could stop having periods altogether. Also, you could, possibly, start to menopause three to five years earlier than you would normally.
Why is it so?
If your kidneys’ function were to drop below 20 percent of normal rates, the higher levels of waste accumulation in your body would intervene with ovulation. This affects menstruation and makes conception difficult.
Childbirth related issues
Given that CKD can interfere with ovulation, it could also affect your chances of getting pregnant. It could also lead to some complications in pregnancy such as risks of pre-eclampsia, restricted foetal growth, and premature delivery. Additionally, the stress of pregnancy could lead to a significant loss of your kidneys’ functioning and worsen pre-existing health conditions such as anaemia, vitamin D deficiency and hypertension.
Mental health related issues
Coping with lifestyle changes as a CKD patient can take a toll on your psychological health and affect your emotional and physical well-being. This can lead to:
Depression, a common condition amongst critical illness patients. About 25 percent of women with CKD are likely to suffer from depression.
For the reasons mentioned above, CKD could even diminish your sex drive and cause sexual health related issues. Negative body image due to weight loss or gain or fistula in the arm from the dialysis or concerns about damage to the catheter in the abdomen could add to your anxiety. All these can make arousal difficult leading to vaginal dryness.
Other health issues
Besides the consequences mentioned above, CKD could also put you at risk of cardiovascular disease and make you susceptible to bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Why is it so?
Your impaired kidneys are unable to produce the hormones, such as active vitamin D, which are crucial for bone strength.
In light of the above, it is essential to speak to your doctor about the changes you are experiencing in your body, for early diagnosis, especially if you are diabetic or have high blood pressure.