A kidney expert, Dr Samuel Ajayi, has asked Nigerians to cut down on their salt and salt seasoners intake, warning that excessive consumption can damage the kidneys.
Dr Ajayi, speaking at the 2020 World Kidney Day celebration in Ibadan, said taking food too salty puts a strain on the kidney and overtime will affect its capability to help excrete wastes from the body.
The medical expert, who noted that adding salt to food at the table is bad, said most foods served in parties and food bought at eateries that taste sweet contain excess salt and salt seasoners.
Dr Ajayi urged people to increase their water intake for a healthy kidney even as he stressed the importance of regular kidney screening to rule out conditions that affect the optimal function of the organ.
President-elect, Nigerian Association of Nephrology, Dr Adanze Asinobi, said access to Kidney disease care is very poor and so kidney problems are better prevented.
According to Dr Asinobi, “less than 5 per cent of Nigerians can afford the management of end-stage kidney disease which is when the kidney has failed.”
The expert said things that are toxic to the kidneys such as herbal concoctions, mercury-containing cremes and soaps, infections like malaria and other viral infections like hepatitis, Lassa fever and HIV can make the kidney fail.
Dr Asinobi urged regular annual blood pressure measurement and urine testing for the presence of protein and sugar after the age of three for every Nigerian.
According to her, “the onset of hypertension in the adult, which then go on to damage the kidney, usually starts in childhood.”
Dr Asinobi also stressed the need to take a balanced diet because high intake of protein can also damage the kidney both in health and sick people with kidney disease.
“High intake of protein damages the nephrons, the functional units of the kidney. It causes it to overwork and with time, the kidney will gradually get damaged,” she declared.
Professor Ayodeji Arije, also a consultant nephrologist said the emphasis of kidney experts now is on maintaining healthy kidneys because at a point a sick kidney had been healthy.
He announced plans by health workers, families of people with kidney problem and those affected by kidney disease at the hospital to launch a kidney care association.
Professor Arije said: “Everybody everywhere can be a stakeholder because even healthy people are carrying kidneys. So nowadays, we are no longer talking about sick kidneys alone, but also about keeping kidneys healthy.”