Chinese medical expert recommends early checks for kidney diseases

A Chinese medical expert says early detection of the symptoms of chronic kidney diseases can save lives hence prevention is better than cure. 

This was highlighted by Dr. Feng Xu, who is a nephrologist currently working at the Moto’otua Hospital, and is working in Samoa thanks to an agreement between the Governments of Samoa and China on the provision of medical aid and specialists. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Dr. Xu said that undergoing a full body checkup is the best way to detect any symptoms at an early stage.

“I am a specialist in the treatment of chronic kidney diseases which refers to damaged kidneys that can’t filter blood the way they should.

“The kidneys’ main function is to filter extra water and wastes out of your blood to make urine but if your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health.

“This is the main reason why I advise that early detection can also lead to sooner actions that can protect your kidneys,” he said. 

The nephrologist part of his medical speciality includes the construction of vascular access for hemodialysis (include internal arteriovenous fistula and central venous indwelling catheter) and the treatment before hemodialysis. 

“The first symptom of damaged kidneys is protein found in urine – it is when the filters are damaged, a protein called albumin, which you need to stay healthy, passes out of your blood and into your urine but a healthy kidney doesn’t let albumin pass from the blood into the urine.

“But there are various ways that can also cause the development of kidney diseases like through diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or a family history of kidney failure.

“The medical term for kidney disease caused by diabetes is Diabetic kidney disease and High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the kidneys so they don’t work as well but if the blood vessels in your kidneys are damaged, your kidneys may not work as well to remove wastes and extra fluid from your body - Extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle,” he added.

The Chinese medical expert said there two ways in which Samoans can be able to fight off illness relating to damaged kidneys.

“Eating a healthy diet is very significant by choosing foods that are healthy like fruits, vegetables but especially monitor salt and sugar intake which should be at a minimum level.

“Regular exercise is good to maintain a healthy weight and also if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, the best way to protect your kidneys from damage is to keep blood glucose numbers close to your goal.”

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