Specialists identify hypertension, diabetes as leading causes of kidney failure
Doctors at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) have identified hypertension, diabetes, herbal concoctions, and indiscriminate use of painkillers without prescription as foremost causes of chronic kidney diseases in Nigeria.
The doctors lamented the increasing cases of chronic kidney diseases in the country while advising members of the public to lead healthy lifestyles to keep their kidneys healthy.
Speaking during the 2022 World Kidney Day celebration, themed: “Kidney health for all, bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney care,” yesterday, at UPTH, Dr. Pedro Emem-Chioma, an honorary Consultant Physician and Nephrologist, said: “Herbal medications, concoctions, even drugs like painkillers, which are commonly used in this environment without prescriptions, should be avoided.
“In developed countries, diabetes is known to be a number one cause of chronic kidney disease, but in our environment, diabetes comes third after hypertension and glomerulonephritis the three major causes of chronic kidney disease.
“In this environment where there is no much control in the use of substances and drugs, if you look at the use of traditional medications, where people consume a lot of herbal medications, also people just go over the counter and pick up these drugs like antibiotics and painkillers from the chemist shops and consume them without prescription and you know that many of them have adverse effects which can lead to kidney diseases.”
Also, a Consultant Paediatrician Nephrologist at the teaching hospital, Prof. Ifeoma Anochie, noted herbal concoctions and other hard substances, when taken by pregnant women, could damage the kidneys of their unborn children.
She advised women of productive age, as well as pregnant women to steer clear of traditional birth centres, for the safety of the infants’ kidneys.
“Kidney problems even in the womb and that is why we want to tell women to be careful what they take during pregnancy because it can affect the development of their baby’s kidney.
“Pregnant women should avoid herbal medications because you don’t know the things in them, they are a combination of many things, some would say they are nephrotoxic, in other words, they can affect the kidney.
“If you are living with your husband and you are looking for a baby, be careful what you take, avoid going to TBAs (traditional birth attendants), “ she advised.