A kidney is either of the pair of organs responsible for the excretion of nitrogenous wastes, principally urea, from the blood. It is situated at the back of the abdomen below the diaphragm. It looks like a bean seed, at least that is what we are told. You can see for yourself when next you’re at the butcher’s. The active units of the kidney are the nephrons.
Kidney disease is one of the major causes of death in the world today. In Nigeria, it is dubbed along side heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer as major NCDs (Non Communicable Disorders). Kidney disease has also been reported to be present at birth (CONGENITAL KIDNEY DISEASE). But beyond this, we are the architect and masterminds of the kind of body we want whether healthy or otherwise.
position of the kidney in the human body. Photo source: scienceinspiration.blogspot.com
Have you seen recent publications on Newspapers and visuals emanating from our terrestrial stations from patients in moribund states seeking help?? Well they mostly point to the one dreaded kidney disease.
Expatriates who are surgeons and surgeons abroad are now at the smiling end because we fly most of the kidney disease cases there for treatment helping the medical industry in such countries grow.
For this article, I would outline the types, causes and surely the preventive measures to be taken to help curb this monster and albatross, and ensure a healthy you. Read on
Types Of Kidney Diseases
1. Acute Kidney Disease
This occurs primarily due to massive loss of body fluid due to accident, poisoning or Injury.
2. Chronic Kidney Disease
This is also known as chronic renal failure. It is the PROGRESSIVE loss of renal functions due to kidney damage over a period of time. It is defined by pathological abnormalities diagnosed via urine tests. There are five(5) stages with the most severe known as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). it is the most common type of kidney disease.
CAUSES OF KIDNEY DISEASE
In tackling and preventing the scourge of kidney disease, it is imperative to know the lifestyle habits that predisposes one to it. These are;
psychoemotional stress accompanied by renal changes and exposure to any form of stress, mainly Distress, would inturn allow for a release in stress hormones. These include release of norepinephrine, epinephrine and cortisol. Such release of hormones affect functions of the kidneys.
– USE OF ANALGESICS
Research has shown that those who take analgesics or pain killers over a protracted period are at a greater risk of developing kidney disease. This could induce analgesic neuropathy ( pathology of peripheral nerves due to intake of analgesics). So “all of una wey get slight gastrointestinal problem and una dey swallow paracetamol abeg watch am”.
-LACK OF EXERCISE
Exercise goes a long way to prevent not just kidney disease but any other disease for that matter. Exercise would allow free flow of blood avoiding constriction, ensure the renal veins and arteries would get their share.
– HIGH SALT INTAKE
High salt intake causes Hypertension or High blood pressure which is a primary cause of kidney disease. So readers avoid eating junk foods or other meals with high Sodium Chloride content.
-USE OF BLEACHING PRODUCTS
Every one wants a radiant and glowing skin, models want to grace the runway with their blemish-free and toned-up skin. But do we know the consequences of long term usage of bleaching products?
Mercury, also called Hydragyrum is a toxic metal found in bleaching creams and could cause skin cancer. An ingredient Hydroquinone also found in toning cream may cause chronic neuropathy a precursor for kidney disease. Other ailments caused by excessive use of bleaching products include infertility,osteoporosis(bone density ) and may result in body odour.
Excessive intake of alcohol increases the risk of High Blood pressure which in turn increases the risk of kidney disease. So guys “una wey love to shayo” do it gently if you don’t want to have a hangover with a dialysis machine.
PREVENTION OF KIDNEY DISEASE
Prevention is much better than a cure, to prevent such occurrence of kidney troubles one has to avert the aforementioned causes.
-Avoid foods high in salt
-Report any pain to your Nephrologist
-Reduce consumption of foods high in fats and oil.
-Stop or moderate alcohol consumption.
Basically a good and positive approach to life would go a long way in emancipating one from the nexus connecting kidney disease with other diseases ranging from NCDs to communicable diseases. A recent study shows that one in ten people globally is affected by kidney disease with many unaware of the problem which puts them at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as kidney failures. So it is advisable that you go for checkups regularly with your Nephrologist, nobody wants to be a victim of unexpected death caused by kidney failure. Go see your specialist, you would be glad you did, remember HEALTH is WEALTH.
AUTHOR: IWU IFEANYI, budding surgeon, entrepreneur, writer and member of TEAM MEDIGIST, student at the COLLEGE OF MEDICINE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, LUTH, Idi Araba, past student of the UNILAG Foundation / Diploma program, my friend and coursemate.
Other posts on Medigist by Iwu Ifeanyi: A SUCCESSFUL MEDICAL CAREER WITH THE RIGHT BUSINESS ACUMEN.
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