Basically, the kidneys remove waste substances from the body as urine. It also helps to make blood, control blood pressure and ensure health teeth and bones. It also controls the amount of water and acidity in the body.
Kidney disease can be prevented by first assessing your risk of kidney disease. Drink a lot of water, avoid medications that destroy your kidneys, exercise regularly and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you have a higher risk of kidney disease such as diabetes and hypertension, you need to ensure your blood pressure are sugar levels are controlled at all times with diet and medications.
Yes, you can live well with one kidney that is functioning optimally. Because of this, you can even donate one kidney to a family member or friend and live well with one kidney.
The common causes of kidney disease in Ghana are chronic inflammation on the kidneys, diabetes, hypertension, chronic painkiller abuse, polycystic kidneys, infections such as HIV and hepatitis B as well as obstruction from prostate disease etc. In most cases people come late with kidney disease with no clear cause.
Kidney disease does not present with symptoms in most cases until very late. Some symptoms when it’s getting late include swelling of the feet and face, passing bloody or foamy urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitation and getting tired easily. When late, your urine output reduces and one can become breathless and if not resolved it leads to death.
Kidney disease is very common. It is estimated that 13.3% of Ghanaians have chronic kidney disease. Hence 13 out of every 100 people you count have kidney disease.
Drink a lot of water and ensure your urine is as clear as water to prevent kidney stones. This is the single most important way to prevent kidney stones.
Drinking about 2L of water is advised to prevent kidney disease. In hot weather, you need to drink more. The perfect guide is the colour of urine. If your urine is concentrated or darker, it means you are drinking less water. Drink till your urine is as clear as water pale yellow in colour.
Yes, you can so you need to check your kidney functions regularly. Once a year is suggested and more frequently if you have risk of kidney disease like diabetes, hypertension or a family history of kidney disease.
Diabetes affect about 7% of Ghanaians. It is globally the number one cause of chronic kidney disease. In Ghana, diabetes is the second most common cause of kidney disease. Diabetes causes kidneys disease by leakage of protein in the urine. If this is not stopped, it leads to kidney damage in the long run.
About a quarter to a third of Ghanaians have hypertension or high blood pressure. When blood pressure is very high, it destroys the small vessels in the kidneys and leads to kidney damage. Chronic kidney disease can also lead to hypertension which will further destroy the kidneys.
There is evidence to show that the use of some herbal medications can cause kidney disease. Some can cause damage once taken and others cause damage after prolonged use. Please be very careful about herbal medications. The fact that they are advertised to be natural does not mean they are all safe. Take note.
A good history to assess risk factors, examination of the blood pressure, sugar level, urine test and a simple blood test can be used to screen for kidney disease. You may need an ultrasound in some situations for further assessment when there is decreased kidney function.
Yes, kidney disease can run in families. The most common one in Ghana is polycystic kidney disease.