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'Kidney woes eased with early detection'

EARLY detection of the underlying causes of acute kidney injury makes treatment easier, Dr. Nika Kristine Lee, chief fellow of Adult Nephrology at Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, said on Saturday.

«Acute kidney injury, also known as acute renal failure, is reversible. Once we detect and correct its underlying causes, definitely in time, the function of our kidneys will improve. The number one treatment for that is supportive management,» Lee said in a health forum organized by the Philippine College of Physicians.

Citing an example, she said that if the cause of an acute kidney injury is volume loss (diarrhea, vomiting or consumption of unwanted food), the treatment would be as simple as hydration.

«When we say acute, this means temporary. To be exact, acute renal failure usually lasts for two to seven days only. So, how can a person know if he has an acute renal failure? Usually, we can easily determine it when the creatinine level reaches above normal and when we notice a sudden drop to the normal volume of our urine,» she added.

The normal creatinine level for men is 0.7 to 1.3 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL for women, while the normal urine volume is 50-100 milliliters.

While most people misinterpret pelvic pain as a kidney problem, the health expert advised the public to immediately seek medical checkups through a urinalysis and creatinine test if a person suspects that he has a kidney problem.

«Maybe because of its location that most of us misinterpret it as a kidney problem. However, we cannot just ignore that it might be a kidney problem. It may be, and it may not be. So the best thing to do is to consult a doctor,» Lee said.

According to the National Institute of Health, each person has two fist-like-sized kidneys. Their main function is to filter the extra water and waste from the blood and dispose of it from the body through urination. They are located just below the rib cage area, near the spine.

On the other hand, while elderly people and those with pre-existing comorbidities — such as hypertension and diabetes — are most likely to have acute renal failure, Lee said everyone can also acquire the disease.

«For senior