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Kidney disease: Expert harps on prevention strategies

By Chioma Obinna

WITH the rising incidences of kidney diseases among Nigerians, expert has warned against unnecessary use of pain killers, consumption of fatty foods and high intake of salt.

Beware: Experts say abuse of pain killers can harm your kidneys.
Beware: Experts say abuse of pain killers can harm your kidneys.

A Senior Consultant Nephrology at the Transplant Institutes, Apollo Hospitals, India, Prof. Devendra Pumar Agarwal who was a guest lecturer at a 2-Day Continuing Medical Education, (CME) organised for Nigerian doctors in Lagos by Apollo Hospitals, stressed the need for people to focus more on prevention of kidney disease than treatment and management of the disorder.

According to him, many of the victims of the disease lose their lives due to late presentation and lack of finance to facilitate prompt medical intervention.

Agarwal, a 34 years experienced Nephrologist, said controlling dietary lifestyles would go a long way in cutting down the number of Nigerians that comes down with the disease.

Emphasising the dangers in the abuse of pain killers, he explained that pain killers should be used only when they are required.

“Pain killers should only be used when they are required. For example when there is a case of surgery, fractures where they are recommended to kill the pains.   There is also the need for people to test themselves when they are diagnosed of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity and once there is protein in the urine it is an indication that must not be swept under the carpet.”

For normal pains like headache, leg pain among others, paracetamol should be enough to take care of the problems.  There is no need taking stronger pain killers.       If the pain is severe you can use tramadol.

To prevent the problem, Agarwal who has been involved in 3,000 kidney transplants, recommended the need for people to change their lifestyles.  “Today, all over the world, life is generally very stressful due to certain situation. Some say it is as a result of family disintegration, many families no longer live together and this has brought about stress.  Smoking is directly link to lung cancer and other problems but now it is directly linked to kidney problems also. So if you are a smoker stop it, reduce stress, go for morning walks, and take less salt and fat in your diets.

“In case you are having diabetes or hypertension, then control it properly.  Speaking on the CME, Country Manager, Apollo Hospitals, Nigeria, Rakesh Jalla, said the programme was organised not only for Lagos doctors but for non doctors in the state to highlight the problem as well as enlightened them on prevention strategies.

“We earlier planned for doctors but we decided to extend it to the general public by adding extra one day. We thought there is need to enlighten the public about Chronic Kidney Disease, CKD. What they should know about the disease, what food they can take or avoid. What precaution they need to take for CKD, the dos and don’ts in case of transplant, how the kidneys fail and we are also distributing booklets on Kidney diseases.  diseases,” he added.



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