Author: Dr. Rudolph Mensah (MH), M.Phil
10% of the global population is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), and millions die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment. According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, CKD was ranked 27th on the list of causes of death.
The kidneys can be damaged from a physical injury or diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. These are the two most common causes of kidney failure. Renal failure doesn’t happen overnight. The loss of kidney function happens gradually, this is why it’s important to be aware of preventive measures.
When the kidneys fail, it means 85-90% of your kidney function is gone and your kidneys don’t work well enough to keep you alive.
What causes kidney failure?
Either through physical injuries or diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, etc. Self-medication, both orthodox & herbal can also be nephrotoxic.
Pain medications can also be nephrotoxic when abused or taken for chronic management. Your kidneys could be damaged if you take large amounts of over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen.
Alcohol/bitters also have the potential of injuring your kidneys.
Prescription laxatives. Chronic use of laxatives has also been implicated.
Herbs/herbal medicines with no FDA registration thereby satisfying safety and efficacy testing (you never know if it’s nephrotoxic).
Kidney failure happens gradually, it’s important to be invested in the state of your kidneys. In fact, some people do not even know they have kidney disease until their kidneys fail. Why? because people with early kidney disease may be asymptotic (not have any symptoms) for a long while. Symptoms usually show up late in the disease progression.
Undiagnosed hypertension and/or diabetes contribute greatly to kidney failures. Just checking your blood pressure will go a long way to help with early diagnosis which can help to reverse acute kidney disease in a few days. It’s important to know your BP. Check your blood pressure after reading.
Here are some preventive tips:
- Make healthy food choices.
- Be physical active
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Get enough sleep/rest
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Reduce stress
- Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water.
- Manage your diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Talk to a professional today. Protect your kidneys.