Tuesday, 24 March 2015

10 Ways You MUST Protect Your Kidneys

About 2 months ago, we lost a renowned Nollywood actor, Muna Obiekwe,  it was a very sad story. Prior to that we had lost a renowned radio talk show guy, Chaz B, who had touched the life of so many people including myself as I drive home from work every evening. While I pondered on the cause of their demise, 2 days later, I got a shocking news of the death of my brother in-law, from the same cause. It is a disease that is sweeping over Nigeria and many parts of the world and taking away our young vibrant youths who make the mistake of crossing it's part, knowingly or unknowingly. It is called KIDNEY DISEASE! A friend of mine informed me of a walk against kidney diseases they held on Saturday in Lagos and I decided it was time to complete and post this article.

It is alarming the rate at which kidney failure is been diagnosed at the hospital these days, if a kidney function test were to be done for every 20 patients that enter the emergency room, at least 1 would have a deranged result. I wondered why this disease was becoming so rampant these days. Is it because we now have the technology to make the diagnosis? I sincerely don't think it has much to do with it. I think it has a lot to do with our fast lifestyles and lack of proper knowledge about the disease especially in a country  like Nigeria where people leave all issues concerning their health solely up to the doctors, or are still attributing every illness to an any in the village for which they have to battle spiritually in the church, or even making wrong choices when they do seek orthodox care. (This article will tell you what I mean).

The kidney like many organs in the body can come down with a lot of diseases ranging from acute (usually reversible) to chronic (irreversible). These numerous diseases can arising from many causes. In medicine, they are divided into pre-renal, renal and post-renal causes, (renal simply means kidney). Pre-renal is any cause that arises before the kidneys, like in the blood vessels, hypertension and dehydration are good examples. Renal involves problems arising from the kidneys themselves, like polycystic kidney disease, acute glomerulonephritis e.t.c. While post renal diseases are those that cause kidney diseases from anywhere after the kidneys e.g. any form of obstruction of the urinary tract e.g. ureteric stones.

For the sake of this post, I'd concentrate on some practices that we carry on with without knowing their implications. For example, while hypertension has been regarded as the biggest culprit in causing kidney diseases, did you know that kidney problems is the number suspect if you meet a young person (below the age of 40 years) with an unusually elevated blood pressure?  So, it is possible that the kidney problem caused the hypertension and not the other way round. It is also possible that something else caused the kidney problem which then caused the hypertension. There are some chronic diseases other than hypertension that have been implicated in causing major kidney wahala. The commonest of them with us in Nigeria are diabetes mellitus and HIV/AIDS.

What is your drinking water habit like? What harmful practices do you indulge in that could cause constant dehydration for you? Let's say alcohol consumption for example. In the days our parents, they drank on occasion, during parties and all. Maybe they didn't have the money to spend or the alcohol wasn't readily available, or maybe it was just their way of life. Then, anyone sitting in the beer parlor night after night was seen as a drunkard. Today, it is a way of life. Everybody wants to "hangout" and have fun. Well, let's hope the music doesn't change while the fun is on going. Other than that, drinking water is very essential. Had an experience while I was in my second year. I developed serious backache (sides of my back) and was taking paracetamol as relief. I thought it was stress of sitting down for long hours. After 1 week, I complained to a senior colleague who asked about my water consumption. To tell you the truth, I took less than 1 liter of fluid per day. He simply went to the nearby shop, and bought 3 liters of water and asked me to finish it immediately. I can say it wasn't funny at all but I had to do it. Within an hour, I urinated 2 times in one hour and that was the end of that pain till date. Drinking water aids in the flushing of waste products from the body and in the prevention of stones formation.

These days, our diet has moved from home food to fast food, and fast food means more meat. Imagine eating a quarter of a chicken. It didn't used to happen. It may be value for your money but what about on the long run. Don't forget it is the kidney that mostly has the job of flushing out toxins from the body. Also, proteins are not stored in the body,  when you breakdown proteins, you get nitrogenous waste. These nitrogen help in the formulation and accumulation of BUN which is what we look out for in the kidney function tests.

Often and often, I see ladies who come to the dermatology clinic with trivial skin complaints. They don't want a spot they acquired at age 10 anymore. They want smooth, shiny skin, and they want to be light in complexion. Many young men are following the trend now. They call it toning. I call it bleaching. Simply, understand this, any substance that is strong enough to change your skin color can definitely do some damage to your organs.

When was the last time you have sorethroat and actually treated it? And I don't mean with strepsil. Sorethroat may simple enough but can be very deadly if left unattended. Did you know that the organism that causes the sorethroat can react with your antibodies (immune system) and form a complex substance that gets deposited on the kidneys and heart leading to bigger problems. What about malaria or a urinary tract infection? Did you know that their complications include renal disease? When was the last time you bought pain killers over the counter? They have also been implicated, especially those like ibuprofen, diclofenac e.t.c. Don't go seeking for the cure of every little thing that happens to you in the hands of a spiritual healer, some of their herbal mixtures are toxic. Even heard blue holy water is equally toxic. It contains copper. Be weary of the use of aloe vera. The research of its uses is not totally done yet.

Now that you know a little bit more about kidney diseases, what can you do to prevent them? Well, keep reading to find out.
  • Check your blood pressure regularly.
  • Check your blood sugar and HIV status.
  • Drink adequate amounts of water. A 70kg man requires 3 liters of fluid per day.
  • Watch your diet and reduce your animal protein intake.
  • No need to "tone" or "bleach", be comfortable in your own skin.
  • Treat any sorethroat, malaria, or any form or infection properly.
  • Beware of using and buying over the counter drugs. Go to the hospital instead.
  • Beware of herbal mixtures.
  • Aloe Vera leaves aren't meant for your consumption please.
  • Do a kidney function test!!!
Finally, some kidney diseases are idiopathic. There may be no identifiable cause. I leave you with one advice. Take charge of your health/life. Most kidney disease don't have symptoms until it's too late. Acute renal failure and acute kidney injuries can be reversed only if they haven't lasted beyond 3 months. Do a kidney function test today. Prevention is always better than cure.



  1. Thank you for this informative piece

  2. Thank you so much Keren for this information, i don't drink enough water and will try to

    1. You are welcome, Bernice. Glad I could contribute this info.

  3. Nice one Doc.....thank you

    1. You are welcome Pamela, thank you for commenting.

  4. Replies
    1. You are welcome Benita, thanks for commenting.

  5. This is awesome advice that'll save many people's lives. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. Kidney and liver are really very delicate and important. Once they're done, we're done. So it's important to take good care of them.

    Thanks for the info.

    Sorry for you country's loss.

    1. Indeed, the kidneys and liver are important and delicate organs to be properly looked after. Thanks for commenting.

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    1. Hello Santiago, thank you for the compliment. I really don't understand your question, are you looking for ways to improve your blog or health related articles that I have written. This is the only article on kidney disease that I have written though. Cheers..


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