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The Rise In Kidney Failure, A Way Out

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A Nigerian Afrobeat artist, songwriter, and singer, Eedris Turayo Abdulkareem Ajenifuja, popularly known as Eedris Abdulkareem, was recently diagnosed with kidney failure,  barely a few months after another prominent Nollywood actor, Leo Mezie, 46, died after recovering from a kidney transplant. 

Over the years, there has been an increase in cases of Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Nigeria, with more than 20 million living with kidney disease and no fewer than 20,000 of the numbers coming down with either End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) requiring dialysis or transplant to stay alive. 

Sadly, the sufferers of CKD, according to the recent statistics by the Nigerian Association of Nephrology (NAN), are mainly the working-age population, with many resulting in loss of jobs and poverty due to the condition. 

Information from NAN showed that the condition not only gulps vast sums of money for treatment it also leaves the sufferers constantly tired, in pain, and at risk of death.

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‘Kidney disease is something that is becoming very common in Nigeria and amongst Nigerians with no particular age range, as people as young as 10, 15, and 20 suffer tremendously from the disease,” Head Cardiologist and Consultant, Lagos Government Hospital, Dr. Usman Olamelekan, told Naija News

According to Dr. Usman Olamelekan, kidney diseases can either be chronic (a progressive loss of kidney function caused by long-standing disease) or acute (abrupt loss of kidney function within seven days due to heart attack, illegal drug use, infections).

“One major cause of the disease amongst Nigerians is Hypertension, Diabetes, Type 1 or 2. Then there is chronic Glomerulonephritis (CGM) which comes about when there is a minor skin infection that is not well taken care of,” Dr. Usman said.

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While in the older adults, Dr. Usman noted that recurrent Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, also known as (BPH) could damage the kidney. In women, reoccurring urinary tract infections could lead to kidney damage. 

‘When Kidney infection becomes recurrent, that can result in Kidney disease,” he added. 

He further listed other causes, which include the continued use of drugs and antibiotics, particularly pain killers can lead to kidney disease. 

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Speaking about the early signs and symptoms of kidney disease, Dr. Usman said that kidney disease is mainly asymptomatic at its early stage; however, in urinary tract infection, nausea and lower abdomen pain are experienced while unirating. 

”In kidney disease, one of the earliest symptoms the patients begin to experience is nausea, getting unnecessary weakness, and bone pain. They also have early morning facial swelling, and over time, they develop complications, such as blood shortage and progression in reduction of urine output,” he pointed out.

The nephrologist maintained that people must live a healthy lifestyle, as the major casualty of kidney diseases, which are hypertension and diabetes, are diseases of lifestyle.

Carbonated drinks, excessive alcohol, and flour-based food should be avoided at all causes,” Dr. Usman told Naija News

He continued by urging adults to stay on a low salt diet, at least 5gram of salt daily, and reduce drastically red meat intake, smoking, and indiscriminate use of drugs. 

Fresh and all types of fish are okay, a moderate amount of fresh fruits, such as Apple, banana, watermelon, and lots of vegetables, regular water intake, and maintaining hygiene are among the things an adult should take more often. 

Regular blood pressure checks in a government facility, but most importantly, live a healthy life.

Chukwuani Victoria is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist who's passionate about storytelling with years of experience in the industry. She holds a BSC in Biology and also obtained a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos. She likes to read, research, hang out with her friends and play scrabbles.

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