Dr. Khaled Abouzeid, head of kidney transplantation at Saudi German Hospital (SHG) Jeddah, is urging for greater awareness around kidney health this World Kidney Day (March 14) in a bid to take action and drive positive impact within a disease area that is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Although there is limited data around kidney disease in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abouzeid is seeing an increase in both incidence and prevalence of kidney disease throughout the Kingdom and the rest of the Gulf due to unhealthy lifestyles.
“A healthy kidney is essential for maintenance of life,” Dr. Abouzeid said. “There are several vital functions the kidney has for the human body, including removal of waste products and excess body water from your blood. Kidneys also help to control your blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep your bones healthy. It is important patients look after their kidneys now, so it does not result in complications in later life, such as chronic kidney disease.”
For patients with chronic kidney disease who gradually lose kidney function, two options are available: Kidney transplant or dialysis.
“Kidney transplants are preferred over dialysis. Kidney transplants allow for nearly normal kidney functions and higher quality of life. After kidney transplant, the patient regains the majority of their usual lifestyle back, with it also helping to extend a patient’s life expectancy by eight to 10 years. However, kidney transplantation is not always possible due to a lack of donors from first-degree relatives being available.”
Last year, SHG Jeddah conducted six kidney transplant cases with a 100 percent success rate.
“At Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah, we offer the latest services and advances in multiple sub-specialties in nephrology, including kidney transplantation, hemodialysis and plasma exchange therapy. We also offer and pride ourselves on the highest level of patient experience. Having satisfied and happy patients is the most important and rewarding aspect of my job,” said Dr. Abouzeid.
Top tips to keep your kidneys healthy:
• Increase physical activity.
• Drink 6-8 glasses glasses of water a day.
• Monitor weight and eat a healthy diet.
• Quit smoking.