Hello and welcome back to my blog. This week, we shall continue from where we left off on kidney diseases. To recap, kindly click https://hectoriaawekeya.com/a-stitch-in-time/ I remember how Nana told me he has never fallen sick and does not understand how the very first time he did, it brought him to his death. I hear many people say with pride “ me dierrr I don’t go to hospital oo” and others say I am fit so I don’t waste money on health checkups”. Is it really a waste if you spend 200 cedis the whole year to find out how your organs are functioning? I don’t think so. We spend more than that on data to follow the latest gossip on social media🤨. These lab investigations that are undermined by many can actually save you thousands of ghana cedis that many don’t even have for dialysis and transplants.
5 common ways to prevent kidney diseases
1. Early diagnosis and management of chronic diseases
There are many people walking around with diabetes and hypertension without knowing. A recent study in Ghana revealed that 35% of the people living with hypertension are not aware of their status(Calys-tagoe, Nuertey, Tetteh, Yawson, & Yawson, 2020). Why? Because hypertension like many other chronic diseases are largely asymptomatic (no symptoms at all) until they begin to destroy your organs such as kidneys and heart. In effect, you will not know, until you have checked. See the best way to monitor your Bp here https://hectoriaawekeya.com/dying-in-silence/
The average Ghanaian have no money and time for medical screening. Even free medical screening going on occasionally in churches, mosques and communities are “the back case of some people”😭. Waiting for symptoms of diabetes such as described in my earlier write-up www.hectoriaawekeya.com/hunger-in-the-midst-of-plenty means waiting to have damage to your kidneys and heart. Get screened now💪🏾.
2. Optimal management of risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and sickle cell disease.
If you are on treatment, be sure that your treatment is on point💯. I mean why should be you swallowing medicines morning and evening or even jabbing yourself daily and yet your risk of complications are the same levels as those who are not on treatment. It is unfair to you☹️. Your figures must be down when you are on treatment✅. You must work with your caregiver to get your figures down either by additional doses or additional 💊 after all you are already on treatment. Unfortunately, some 45% of hypertensive patients on treatment are not well controlled(Dosoo et al., 2019). Are your figures on treatment where they should be?🤔
3. Live healthy lifestyles.
We as a people need to learn to eat well. When I talk about eating well, I mean our food should have a healthy mix of all food groups we learnt about in life skills days. Carbohydrates, proteins, fibre minerals, vitamins and fats. Be careful to control your portions because overeating will only make you put on weight.😰 Wondering how much vegetables and fruits (fibre) to incorporate in your meals? Check out https://hectoriaawekeya.com/rainbow-%f0%9f%8c%88/. Eating healthy also means cutting down on salt intake. The average Ghanaian eats too much salt and I have provided practical ways to help you cut down on this “frenemy” on https://hectoriaawekeya.com/tasty-foe/
4. Keep active.
Keeping active has many great benefits you don’t want to miss out on them. Being physically active would enable the full function of your heart, kidneys and brain. It will make you even feel like you can conquer the world mpo! Sometimes people hit me up and say how do you do it? How do you keep up with all your busy schedule? My answer? Take the work out of it and make it fun! It is difficult sometimes but it’s very doable especially if you follow the other tips I shared on https://hectoriaawekeya.com/keep-moving/
5. Keep hydrated.
There is anecdotal evidence to show that many of us are walking around dehydrated. We don’t drink enough water. On a regular day, most of us drink less than 3 sachets (1500mls) of water and that is woefully inadequate. If you doubt me, check out the chart below and compare your urine colour or that of your child to the chart below and see where you belong😅. Most if not all of us will be around 4 and 5☹️. For those who are at 6 and 7, there is salvation for you also, just drink up!💪🏾
In conclusion, kidney diseases are more common than we think. The kidneys like my senior colleague Dr. Boima (Nephrologist in KBTH) mentioned recently, are very good servants. They will serve you well without complaining (symptoms) until they are really destroyed (late diseased stages). You don’t have to get there, check your kidney function at least once a year to help save you the misery of late diagnosis.😊
Until, I come your again next time, keep hydrated, eat less salt and treat to target.