Kidney diseases usually show no early symptoms, and in the case of those who are recovering from COVID, 70 to 80 per cent of kidney function can fail without any visible symptoms of renal issues, said nephrologists in the city.
Patients with other comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension are more likely to suffer from kidney related long-term complications after COVID, said Dr Ganesh Prasad NK, senior consultant of nephrology at Fortis Hospital, adding that they have noticed a specific pattern of fibrosis issues among kidney patients who had COVID.
“Protein leak in the urine is one of the symptoms, which is mainly due to damaged kidney that allows more protein to leak into urine from blood. This condition is called proteinuria,” Dr Ganesh Prasad NK added.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has found that long COVID patients are likely to experience kidney damage and end-stage kidney disease. “Even after testing negative for COVID in RT-PCR, it is found that the kidney cells were rigid in those who had kidney diseases, and mainly due to long involvement, patients had proteinuria,” says Dr Ganesh.
While more protein and enough liquids are recommended for post-COVID recovery, proteinuria would delay the recovery and causes further damages, doctors added.
Senior nephrologist Dr Arun Srinivasan said many patients had complications that require kidney transplantation at a later stage for long term recovery, as COVID damages the kidney. “The treatment protocols for patients with kidney issues changes if they have been affected by COVID. Dialysis patients have to be monitored separately due to further damage to the kidney due to COVID. The most important factor is that these issues should be identified at an initial stage and intervention should be sought early as the treatment protocols vary upon detection of such complications,” he added.