Chennai: There was a time when all the health issues women suffered were blamed on their hormones and serious issues related to their reproductive systems. There was little to no knowledge or awareness about how other major organs like the heart, kidney, and liver were getting affected.
There was, in fact, a common myth among the general public that women’s organs help protect them from organ failure. But today, the myth has been broken. There are a number of women falling prey to diseases related to the major organs especially the kidneys are rising.
While renal disease can affect anyone irrespective of their age and gender, women often tend to face more specific challenges. Women are at high risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) as compared to men. Approximately 195 million women are affected by CKD worldwide.
It is currently the eighth leading cause of death in women, causing 6,00,000 deaths annually.
“CKD also poses a risk of morbidity and in many cases, it can progress towards renal failure, requiring renal replacement therapy dialysis, or kidney transplantation. Studies show that in India, patients diagnosed with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) who are on dialysis or transplantation are over 1,00,000 per year,” says Dr Venkatesh, consultant nephrologist, Apollo Dialysis Clinics, Chennai.
Women who have CKD commonly experience menstrual irregularities, he says and adds: It can include excessive bleeding, missed periods and some may even experience early onset of menopause. Women with CKD enter menopause from three to five years earlier than patients without CKD. Treatment can also be very challenging.
He added: “Women with CKD are at risk for reduced fertility. It is considered to be a risk factor for reduced fertility. In the advanced stage especially where dialysis is required the risk factor is very high. But though conception on dialysis may be challenging, it is still possible, and results can improve with intensive treatment sessions.”