New Delhi: Young
people in their 20s are increasingly becoming prone to kidney
ailments, not only due to unhealthy diets, smoking and drinking
but a new threat - downing protein supplements without proper
advice, doctors warn.
"Excessive consumption of protein can have unwanted side effects
on the kidney. Since kidney disease often goes undiagnosed, one
should not take additional protein supplements without proper
consultation. But many skip this, which leads to chronic kidney
disease," Ravi Bansal, senior consultant in PSRI hospital, told
Nephrologists warn that high doses of protein powder over a long
period of time causes stress on kidneys.
"Kidneys process and break down proteins. An excessively increased
amount of protein intake causes the organ to work harder to
compensate. Overuse of protein powders can lead to developing
kidney stones and kidney failure," Ajay Choudhary, nephrologist,
He said that in India about 40 percent of youngsters suffer from
hypertension, obesity or diabetes or are smokers - all of which
lead to kidney stones, infection and diabetic kidney disease. Many
add to their health condition by taking protein supplements
without proper advice, which could be dangerous.
"Many young men take protein supplements like protein shakes,
protein pills, anabolic steroids as it gives them biceps, six
packs in a short duration. But this leads gradually to kidney
failure. Many don't realise this. Kidney disease hardly shows any
symptoms until it has progressed to such an extent that dialysis
remains the only option," Harsha Jauhari, chairman, renal surgery,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told IANS.
Besides this, advanced kidney damage - up to 70 percent - leads to
"Kidney disease will result in a buildup of waste products in the
body, thus affecting sperm quality and fertility. People with
minor problems need not worry. Only if the kidney is damaged
beyond 60 percent. Just because a person has kidney disease does
not mean a man will not able to father a child; even after
transplants, many are normal," Bansal said.
Doctors say anybody with diabetes, hypertension and obesity as
well as smokers and those above 50 years and with a family history
of such diseases are at risk of kidney disease. Those who
frequently urinate in the night, have joint disorders or swelling
in the feet and face should also get screened once in six months.
"Simple routine tests of urine, blood and blood pressure can show
up early signs of kidney problems. Youngsters should take protein
supplements only after prior advice," Bansal added.
The National Kidney Foundation of India estimates that 100 people
in a million suffer from kidney ailments in the country and around
90,000 kidney transplants are required annually in India.
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