Mr Ugbe is a 46 year old husband with 4 lovely children. Until 6 months ago, Mr. Ugbe was a typical Nigerian man looking to fend for himself and his family. Until he noticed that his face was swelling up. His feet also started swelling. He started losing weight and developed some rashes on his body. He first thought maybe it was “stress”. He was advised to rest by his friends and his relatives gave him some drugs they thought would help him . Rather than getting better, Mr Ugbe’s condition became worse. He is now on admission. Bedridden. Every week, his family must look for over
N150,000 ($1,000) to buy him drugs and pay hospital bills. What is problem? Mr Ugbe has kidney failure.
These two stories are representative of the struggles of many people all over the globe struggling with renal failure.
Our kidneys are bean-shaped organs located in our abdomen. They are responsible for a host of things ranging from excretion of waste products, to regulation of some bodily functions and process. Their functioning properly is essential for life.
Kidney failure, acute (i.e. of sudden occurrence), or chronic (of a more prolonged course and duration) is a condition increasingly becoming more prevalent in our community. The kidneys are said to fail when they can no longer perform their function has been so impaired that they can no longer support health and vitality. It is of grave importance that the populace be enlightened on the possible causes of this condition and things that may be done to prevent it.
Important causes of kidney failure include: High Blood Pressure, Drug misuse (self medication, concoctions, & drug abuse), Infections, and diabetes.
Symptoms of kidney failure include:
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, face and/or hands
- Weight loss
- Frequent Urination at night
- Foamy or bubbly urine
- More frequent urination, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine
- Less frequent urination, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark coloured urine
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty urinating
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration
- Body Itching
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Shortness of breath due to extra fluid on the lungs
- Feeling tired and/or weak
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low blood pressure
- Appetite loss, a bad taste in the mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
- Darkening of the skin
What can you do?
You can do the following:
- Go for regular check-ups: This is an important element of maintaining health. Early detection of kidney function abnormalities may be corrected and save you from kidney failure.
- Watch your weight! You are designed for an optimal body weight. By maintaining an optimal weight profile through physical activity and watching what you eat, you reduce your chances of becoming hypertensive or diabetic. By so doing reduce your chances of getting renal failure.
- Don’t Misuse drugs: Drug abuse and misuse are common. Avoid using medications that have not been prescribed by your physician. Consult your doctor before starting a medication. Concoctions may be dangerous for your kidneys. Please avoid them. Consult your doctor.
- Present Early: This is one of the banes of medical practice: late presentation of people to receive medical care. Please visit your healthcare provider as soon as you notice anything is wrong with you. Early diagnosis saves lives
Protect your kidneys! Spread the word.