Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to save yourself from having kidney problem

How can you prevent kidney disease? This is one question making the rounds as more people are falling to the disease without knowing what led to it. Now, more than ever, Nigerians are becoming more conscious about protecting and preserving their kidneys.

Every year, several Nigerians suffer kidney problems and thousands die or require regular dialysis or kidney transplants. Factors ranging from bad diet choices and habits like smoking and obesity, among others are linked to an increased risk for kidney disease.

Experts note that there may still be time to slow down the progression to kidney failure. Indeed medical care with early intervention can change the course of chronic kidney disease and prevent the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Here are simple tips to prevent or delay common kidney problems.

Understand the symptoms
The key to prevention or delay of severe kidney disease is early detection and aggressive intervention — Early detection is the first step in treating chronic kidney disease.

The symptoms of kidney disease may include: nausea and vomiting, passing only small amounts of urine, swelling, particularly of the ankles, and puffiness around the eyes. Other symptoms are unpleasant taste in the mouth and urine-like odour to the breath, persistent fatigue or shortness of breath, Loss of appetite Increasingly higher blood pressure Muscle cramps, especially in the legs Pale skin Excessively dryness, etc.

Know your risks
Since diabetes and high blood pressure put you at risk of kidney disease, know where you stand with these risks. If you can, find out if diabetes, hypertension, or kidney disease runs in your family.

Get tested regularly
Get checked at least once within the year. Get tests of your urine, blood pressure reading, fasting blood glucose test, and your average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. Ask for a creatinine test that measures the amount of waste from muscle activity. When the kidneys are not working properly, the creatinine rises.

Control diabetes
If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels under the best possible control.

Control high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, get your blood pressure within target ranges.

Give up processed food
Say bye-bye to potato or plantain chips, crackers, cheese and deli-meats, etc., because they are processed foods high in phosphorus additives and sodium – both of which can have a damaging effect on the kidneys.

Reduce sugar intake
Consuming too much sugar can result in diabetes or obesity – both linked to kidney disease.

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