…encourages regular medical check-ups to prevent late detection
Physician Specialist at the Department of Medicine-Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Mensah Amoah, has disclosed that among the causes of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) in the country are diabetes and high blood pressure.
According to him, diabetes constitutes about 40 percent of the causes of chronic kidney disease, as it is the leading cause globally. He stated that the rampant increase of diabetes cases is the result of certain lifestyle changes.
“Diabetes is increasing in our environment. Somewhere in the 80s, diabetes was probably less than 0.5 percent; but now we looking almost 7.8 percent in a population, which is a very big jump in the number and is also contributing to most of the kidney diseases that we are seeing,” Dr. Amoah revealed in an interview with the B&FT.
Another major cause, he stated, is high blood pressure. He explained that this is mostly among the youth, adding that a lot of individuals are living with high blood pressure without their knowledge due to disregard of certain practices such as regular medical checkups.
Highlighting some other causes, Dr. Amoah stated that prostate enlargement, by cancer or by age; kidney stones, cancer around the ovaries of women, urine blocking, among others, are also leading factors.
He added that the intake of some particular medications, especially some particular pain killers, can go a long way to cause kidney diseases – stating that on several occasions herbal medication has proven to also be a cause, though most people disagree with that.
“A lot of people dispute this, but from our experience a lot of people had their kidney disease due to exposure to some herbal medicine. They didn’t have any other reason why they had the kidney disease, but they felt they were not well and took herbal medicine – later to diagnosed with kidney disease,” he disclosed.
Dr. Amoah stressed the need for individuals to adopt a proper attitude toward their health, advising that annual medical checkups should be a priority to help detect most of the kidney cases at an early stage to receive good treatment.
“Once every year, do a medical checkup on your blood pressure; check up on your urine, check your kidney function, check your blood sugar and cholesterol. So, these basic tests will give you an idea of your state, and if it is detected early you can be on medication,” he said.
He further advised that individuals begin to take up the challenge and stick to certain lifestyle practices; like reducing salt intake, sugar and other foodstuffs that contribute to diabetes and other diseases, and rather take in more vegetables and do regular exercise for the body.
He emphasised that the stress in managing chronic kidney diseases is so much and also comes with a cost. This cost sometimes become unbearable for some patients as time goes on, and they give up the dialyses treatment – which results in death in most cases.
In spite of efforts to calm the situation, hospital admissions for kidney disease are on the rise; and unfortunately, over 75 percent of patients report during late stages of the disease…leading to the death of up to 50 percent of patients admitted with kidney disease.