Insuficiencia renal, la enfermedad crónica que me quitó un amigo

  • Cuando a un ser querido, amigo o conocido los médicos le diagnostican una enfermedad renal crónica, hay una sola cosa clara: una vez que se establece daño en ese órgano (riñones) es irreversible y progresa de forma continua, por lo cual, en la etapa final del padecimiento será necesario hacer diálisis o, en los casos más afortunados, un trasplante que cuesta miles de pesos.

Hay fechas que tienen una carga emotiva para todos o la mayoría de habitantes del planeta. Porque hay que tomarse un tiempo para reflexionar, mirar lo que hemos construido y lo que nos faltó lograr. Lo bueno, lo malo, lo feo del año que se va. Como este 24 de diciembre, cuando después de 2 años con insuficiencia renal y 25 de vida, Humberto Salinas perdió la batalla contra esa serie de sufrimientos terribles, ninguno propiciado por vicios de juventud, sino por una Enfermedad Renal Crónica (ERC).

 En términos generales, la enfermedad renal crónica es la pérdida permanente de las funciones de los riñones; este trastorno ocurre como consecuencia de diversas enfermedades crónicas no transmisibles como la diabetes mellitus y la hipertensión arterial. Brenda Osornio, médico internista en la clínica 47 del IMSS, explica que “esta enfermedad es grave porque los riñones realizan diferentes funciones en nuestro cuerpo: filtran la sangre y eliminan los productos de desecho del metabolismo, mantienen el balance de líquidos y secretan hormonas.”

 Los riñones, explica Carlos García, experto del Centro Médico Nacional 20 de Noviembre del ISSSTE, “tienen básicamente cinco funciones de control: del agua corporal; de iones, como sodio, potasio y calcio; de la presión arterial; del equilibrio ácido-base y síntesis de hormonas, como eritropoyetina”.

 Aunque, la parte más conocida es la eliminación de toxinas y sustancias de desecho (urea y creatinina), que se acumulan y nos enferman. Al inicio de la enfermedad, los síntomas pueden confundirse con otros trastornos pero abarcan: pérdida de peso sin razón aparente, fatiga, malestar general, dolor de cabeza y náuseas. “Cuando la enfermedad renal crónica se encuentra en etapas más avanzada, se denomina insuficiencia renal crónica y es posible que sea necesario llevar a cabo diálisis, hemodiálisis o trasplante de riñón, detalla la doctora.”

La ciencia nunca podrá vencer a la muerte y a la larga todos los medicamentos son veneno, pero, querido amigo,  los médicos y enfermeros te bañaban con el mismo cuidado y ritual de los recién nacidos, con aguas hervidas que tenían un efecto sedante. Te perfumaban y vestían. Te untábamos vaselina en todo el cuerpo y te colocaban un pañal con tanto amor que se evidencia que la enfermedad y la muerte nos regresan a la niñez que nos quita el tiempo.

Según los datos, al menos 2,3 millones de personas han muerto prematuramente a causa de la insuficiencia renal al no tener acceso a los tratamientos sustitutivos.

A la memoria de mi amigo Humberto.


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