As the world marks the 2019 World Kidney Day, a Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Yemi Raji, emphasised
low salt intake to reduce risk of kidney disease.
Raji, who works at Akinkugbe Renal Centre, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, gave the advice on Thursday in Ibadan.
The theme for the 2019 World Kidney Day is “Kidney Health for Everyone, Everywhere.”
According to Raji, there has been a sharp increase in cases of chronic kidney diseases in the country.
The nephrologist said that based on various studies, chronic kidney diseases were responsible for eight to 10 per cent of medical admissions.
He said that between 20 and 30 per cent of people who present for community-based medical and health screenings were affected by kidney diseases.
He added that “based on these figures, there is the need to take actions to check new cases.
“There is need for increased awareness and public sensitisation to the risk factors for kidney diseases, prevention and lifestyle changes.
“Some risk factors for chronic kidney disease include obesity, stroke, smoking, diabetes and family history.
“Hypertension or high blood pressure can also cause damage to kidneys and that is why it is important to reduce salt intake to the barest minimum.
“High salt intake raises the amount of sodium in the bloodstream, which puts a strain on the kidney and reduces its ability to function properly.”
He cautioned that “overtime without early medical intervention, the extra strain can damage the kidneys, cause kidney disease and eventual
According to him, chronic kidney disease is the gradual loss of kidney function.
Raji identified other lifestyle choices toward reducing kidney disease as regular physical exercise, keeping helathy weight, eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
He also urged people to avoid smoking and over-the-counter pills on regular basis.
He said “your kidneys are very important, you should take care of them.
“Kidney helps to make urine, remove wastes and extra fluid from the body, keeps the bone healthy and control body’s chemical balance.”
The consultant identified symptoms of kidney disease as reduced amount of urine, bone pain, swelling of the legs, ankles and feet and fatigue.
Celebrated annually on March 14, World Kidney Day was created to raise awareness and education about the importance of kidney health.
This year, the World Kidney Day campaign aims to achieve kidney health for everyone, everywhere,
with point-of-care testing by primary healthcare providers.
Kidney disease is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. When kidneys are damaged by diabetes and/or high blood
pressure, they are less able to work effectively.