End-stage renal disease (ESRD) affects more than 1500 people per million population in countries with a high prevalence, such as Japan, Taiwan, US and Nigeria topping the number in Africa. Approximately two-thirds of people with ESRD receive haemodialysis, one quarter have kidney transplants, and one tenth receive peritoneal dialysis.
In Nigeria we have more than 100 thousand cases per year. CKD is more prevalent in the elderly population. However, while younger patients with CKD typically experience progressive loss of kidney function. Recently in Nigeria, there have been increased incidence of death from CKD in younger patients. About 30% of patients over 65 years of age with CKD have stable disease and this calls for concern.
As is the situation in other parts of the world, diabetic nephropathy appears to be of increasing importance in the causation of ESRD in Nigeria.
Know if you’re at risk of Kidney Diseases
Do you have high blood pressure?
Do you suffer from diabetes?
Do you have a family history of kidney disease?
Are you overweight?
Do you smoke?
Are you over 50 years?
Are you of African, Hispanic, Aboriginal or Asian origin?
Prevention of Kidney DiseaseKidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.
Keep fit and activeKeeping fit (Regulaar exersice) helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
Keep regular control of your blood sugar levelAbout half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions. Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early. It is important to keep control of blood sugar levels with the help of doctors or pharmacists, who are always happy to help.
Monitor your blood pressureAlthough many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 139/89, you are considered prehypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardio- Vascular Diseases (morbidity) Do not hold your urine and treat any urinary infection
Eat healthy and keep your weight in checkThis can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney Disease. Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (around a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try and limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh ingredients. For more information on nutrition and kidney friendly cooking, talk to your doctor.
Maintain a healthy fluid intakeAlthough clinical studies have not reached an agreement on the ideal quantity of water and other fluids we should consume daily to maintain good health, traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day.
Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease, according to researchers in Australia and Canada. The findings, the researchers said, do not advocate “aggressive fluid loading”, which can cause side effects, but they do provide evidence that moderately increased water intake, around two litres daily, may reduce the risk of decline in kidney function. It’s important to keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors including gender, exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy and breast feeding.
In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.
Do not smokeSmoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, it impairs their ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50 percent.
Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.
Such medications probably do not pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use them for emergencies only, but if you are dealing with chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain, work with your doctor and ask your pharmacist for more details.