Too Many Young Nigerians Dying Of Kidney Failure, 4 Things To Know...

Too Many Young Nigerians Dying Of Kidney Failure, 4 Things To Know [MUST READ]

By Lifestyles | The Trent on April 17, 2015
Food Poisoning, Risk, Hand
Models in photo (Photo Credit: Dreamstime)

by Emeka Oparah

Beyond the loss of a much younger sibling, my friend, Frank’s, devastation is understandably aggravated by the realization that she had had kidney problem for awhile without knowing.

The doctors had always treated her for ulcer or some other minor stomach ailment, but unbeknownst to all, her kidney was failing all the while. Last week, the vital organ gave up totally. She passed away… less than 5 months after her wedding, painfully.

To cut the story short, this young woman’s demise is another unfortunate reminder of not just the state of our healthcare system, but also our carelessness as human beings. This is not intended to excoriate the deceased but to put us, the living, on notice.

Prevention is better than cure, they say. And knowledge is power. It is rare for a kidney much less both kidneys to pack up overnight. It takes a while. And there are three major factors that can lead to kidney failure or kidney problems namely:
1. Chronic hypertension
2. Diabetes
3. Heredity
4. Self-medication, especially painkillers.

Knowing that you’re hypertensive or diabetic or there’s a history of kidney disease in your immediate or extended family could be a life-saver.

Thankfully, the tests for hypertension and diabetes are nothing compared to all the nonsense we spend our money on daily. Even KFT (Kidney Function Test) is inexpensive. And, of course, you can easily find out medical history of your family (one of the reasons some of us advocate for autopsy, which is more for the living than the dead).

As for self-medication, I personally view the practice as suicide. Why would you prescribe antibiotics, tranquilizer so or even painkillers for yourself? There are people who pop all manner of drugs everyday into their system for no reason. And even if there’s a reason to take drugs, why would a PR practitioner, like me, prescribe drugs to myself or any other person? A doctor friend told me paracetamol is, perhaps, the most abused and could be the major cause of sudden inexplicable kidney failure.

So, if you are genetically (family history) or medically (hypertension and/or diabetes) predisposed to Kidney disease, then you must do the KFT may be twice a year. And if you’re in the habit of swallowing paracetamol or some sexier, stronger painkillers, you better desist for you are putting your kidney at risk. As a matter of fact, that constant headache may be symptomatic of migraine or hypertension or some other more dangerous ailment that ought to be handled differently-and which could affect your kidney, if left untreated for long.

I’m not a doctor (isn’t that obvious?) but I’m concerned about the scary rising spate of deaths due to kidney disease in Nigeria. Another look at your lifestyle and a visit to your doctor (and your village or city, as the case may be) might be all you need to prevent this rampaging disease and live for as long as your Creator has programmed for you.

Emeka Oparah is a social commentator and public relations professional. He is on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


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