Addressing prevention of kidney disease

Guest speakers: Dr Kia Lean (left) and Dr Li Ping will be speaking at StarLIVE talk this Saturday at Menara Star.

PETALING JAYA: Despite being aware that diabetes is a major cause of kidney failure, many patients are still not taking steps to prevent or delay the chronic disease, said consultant nephrologist Dr Tan Li Ping.

They think that lifestyle management such as weight loss and dietary measures are sufficient but often times, most require medication to restore their blood sugar levels back to normal, he said.

Dr Li Ping said: “Part of that is because they fear medical therapy, specifically the harm medication can do to them, based on hearsay. In trying to resist, they often escape from seeking or agreeing to medical therapy to overcome diabetes without adequate knowledge of the disease.”

He said over 60% of kidney failure stems from diabetes.

Dr Li Ping will be talking about how diabetes can affect kidney functions as well as blood sugar management and complications during this Saturday’s StarLIVE talk, organised by The Star and Ramsay Sime Darby. The talk will be held at Menara Star here. Admission is free and will be on a first come, first served basis. Those interested can register at

Dr Li Ping said that diabetes might be due to lifestyle factors or genetic susceptibility.

He urged patients to relay their concerns to their doctors rather than ignoring medical advice.

“Patients have to work with their doctors and address their fears so that both can work out a health plan which the patient is comfortable with,” he added.

He pointed out that early symptoms of kidney disease might not be obvious so it was best to do regular testing and monitoring.

Signs of poor kidney functions include leg swelling, increase in blood pressure, nausea, loss of appetite and bubbly urine.

Meanwhile, consultant vascular and endovascular surgeon Dr Tan Kia Lean will be speaking about preparing patients for dialysis.

“The prevalence of End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF) is increasing rapidly in this country, with over 30,000 dialysis patients now.

“However, many a time when it comes to renal replacement therapy, patients are not ready because of misunderstandings and doubts, resulting in them fearing treatment, running away from it and ending up with more problems,” he said.

He urged patients not to wait after being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

“Unnecessary stress and tension can be avoided if patients are prepared with adequate knowledge,” he said.

Dr Tan will be highlighting the options of treatment and preparing patients mentally and physically, as well as dispelling common misconceptions about dialysis treatment.

At the talk, there will be a free micro­albuminuria test, which measures the amount of albumin in the urine, for the first 100 attendees.Albumin is a protein that the body uses for cell growth and to help repair tissues. It’s normally present in the blood.

A certain level of it in your urine may be a sign of kidney damage.

The StarLIVE talk will be held on April 20 at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya. Admission is free and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested can register at


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