As Nigeria today joins the global community to mark this year’s World Kidney Day, stakeholders in kidney care have harped on the need for Nigerians to embrace healthy lifestyle so as to avoid kidney failure.
They also cautioned the people against the over-consumption of junk foods and sedentary lifestyle to reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease.
The theme of 2018 World Kidbey Day is “Kidneys & Women’s Health. Include, Value, Empower” .
Reports show that Nigeria records 17,000 new cases of kidney failure every year, with only 2,000 having access to life-saving dialysis.
Medical experts say healthy lifestyle plays an important role in reducing the risk of getting chronic kidney disease while overweight and obese populations are at greater risk of getting obesity-related chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
These obesity-related diseases, they said can eventually lead to many serious complications including cardiovascular diseases and CKD.
Studies have shown that diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. So, it is important that an individual with diabetes or high blood pressure works with his doctor to keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control, as that is the best way to prevent kidney disease.
Bad diet choices and habits like smoking and obesity are linked to an increased risk for kidney disease, suggests a new study published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease.
Speaking on the importance of healthy lifestyle, Dr. Alex Chang from Johns Hopkins University said,
“Unlike family history of kidney disease, diet, smoking, and obesity are modifiable lifestyle factors that we can all control. By eating well, quitting smoking, and maintaining a normal weight, people can protect their kidneys and prevent future damage.”
Commenting on this year’s theme, Professor of Medicine, and Nephrologist, Renal Unit, Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University and Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile- Ife, Fatiu Arogundade, explained that this year’s theme focused on women because women are exposed to most kidney diseases that men also have, except the obstructive uropathies .
“They may, however, have additional burden of kidney disease by virtue of the fact that they carry the burden of pregnancy, which exposes borderline kidney function to further insults, aside pregnancy -related complications that may cause kidney disease. Some women engage in practices that are injurious to the kidneys, such as skin bleaching, commercial sex practices and analgesic consumption” he explained.
He explained that women are more predisposed to developing connective tissue diseases, which could manifest as kidney disease .
Besides balanced nutrition, Arogundade said there was also need for avoidance of alcohol consumption, smoking, nephrotoxins, bleaching creams and soaps and unregistered local herbs or products, among others.
World Kidney Day, observed annually on the 2nd Thursday in March is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.