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‘Kidney disease in young ones are in most cases hereditary’


Kidney disease among youths is becoming a serious concern. In Nigeria, there has been a rising case of young ones in their 20s, 30s and 40s with kidney failure. A lot of young people have died as a result of renal failure.

Consultant Nephrologist at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Adebowale Adewunmi, said that there are hereditary kidney disease, which are the major causes of kidney diseases in the young such as, polycystic kidney disease, posterior urethral valve obstruction and renal artery stenosis.

“As scientists, we work based on facts and figures, maybe we need to do a new study in the population. I think awareness seem to be increasing from all our efforts as healthcare practitioners and from your side in the media as well as government, thus, giving the impression of a new increase. It would be safe to think there is an increase to prevent an epidemic,” Adewunmi said.

According to the expert, the leading cause of kidney disease is diabetes and hypertension. It could also be caused by increased use of drugs, especially unwholesome, adulterated and fake drugs due to inability to afford doctors visit or proper investigation. This is worse with analgesics and certain antibiotics.

“Also, I think there might be a rise in the use of native medications, herbal concussions and general use of unorthodox medicines. This may not be unconnected to the increasing poverty in the land. I would also want to believe that stress is increasing, as we well know that it is a major cause of disease from hypertension, diabetes and several other diseases, which in turn would result in kidney diseases.”

Adewunmi pointed out that the other reason is that, most of the known cases of kidney diseases cannot afford their regular treatment, now go on the various media to announce and solicit for funds for treatment largely due to the economic downturn. “The cost of services to treat kidney disease, are no longer affordable. Many of our patients cannot buy their drugs to control hypertension and diabetes, which are leading causes of chronic kidney disease. So I would not be surprised to see an increase in kidney disease.”

On lifestyle changes that can be made to prevent kidney disease, he advised that there should be dietary restriction of salt and less of refined sugar, eat more vegetables and fruits, stop cigarette smoking and reduce or stop alcohol intake, do regular exercises 30 to 40minutes four to five times a week. Exercises such as, brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling would help prevent the disease. Use only prescribed drugs and do regular check ups. Cut down on stress by any means by listening to motivation speeches, be more religious and you may use concentration methods such as yoga as well. Lastly, make yourself happy.”

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