Medics warn Kericho residents of kidney disease
Tuesday March 21, 2023
By Sarah Njagi
For six years Mr. David Chepkwony battled diabetes as he tried in vain to treat the disease using prescribed oral medications which did not provide any relief.
Chepkwony for the last two years has been on dialysis treatment after a medical report confirmed that his kidneys were damaged and his last hope was to start dialysis.
He undergoes dialysis twice a week and is upbeat that his health will improve and continue working on his farm with minimal trips to hospital.
The 53-year-old resident of Nandi County during an interview with KNA on Monday while undergoing dialysis at Siloam Hospital Kericho disclosed that he would experience extreme thirst, weight loss, craving for sugary foods, frequent urination even at night, fatigue and loss of appetite which was before the crippling symptoms set him to seek help from a hospital in his home county in 2013 where he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and started on oral medicines to control his blood sugar levels.
The medications provided little relief and in late 2018, he started falling sick with a myriad of symptoms persisting; his blood sugar levels increased, low appetite, persistent vomiting and this would be his call to seek immediate medical attention.
The father of five revealed that he was introduced to insulin to manage his diabetes but in the following year he was diagnosed with kidney failure.
“I fell sick a lot in 2019 while I was using insulin and I opted to go back to hospital for treatment where after a series of tests I was diagnosed with kidney failure. It was hard for me to accept that no drugs would help other than dialysis. I started hemodialysis in April 2021,” said Chepkwony.
With Type 2 Diabetes, the body becomes unable to use insulin effectively.
The body produces little insulin to help the body process glucose in the blood. Over time, the body then no longer makes enough insulin and the blood glucose levels rise.
Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure.
The patient is put on a dialyzer sometimes called an artificial kidney. At the start of a hemodialysis treatment, a nurse places two needles into the pateint’s arm and each is attached to a flexible plastic tube that connects to a dialyzer.
This procedure is done twice a week and it rids the body of unwanted toxins, waste products and excess fluids by filtering a patient’s blood.
The filtered blood is then returned to the patient’s body through a second tube.
A consultant medic at Siloam hospital Kericho, Dr. Ismail Waqeh Hegazy cautioned residents to desist from using painkillers and antibiotics without prescription whenever they felt sick for relief as prolonged use of the two drugs caused damage to the kidneys as well as the liver.
Hegazy lamented that the hospital was managing 56 patients with dialysis while in the same breath stating that eleven of the patients had misused painkillers or antibiotics at one point in their lives which caused their kidneys to stop working well enough to filter waste from the blood and expel the waste from the body as urine.
He stressed that people at a high risk of contracting kidney conditions are those with high blood pressure, diabetes, those that smoke and consume alcohol, obese, patients ailing from prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, those with HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and also in family members that had been affected before.
He appealed to patients with Diabetes and Hypertension to adhere to their prescribed medications, failure to which will lead to uncontrolled diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension which caused their kidneys to fail to function noting that 70 per cent of patients undergoing dialysis at the medical facility had mismanaged these two ailments.
“Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension can enter renal failure very easily. They ought to strictly adhere to their medications. High blood sugar from diabetes can damage blood vessels and diabetic patients are prone to developing high blood pressure which can damage the kidneys too, “said Hegazy
Hegazy said a simple test is done through screening of urine where samples are taken to the lab for examination.
“Urine sample is taken to the lab for examination to diagnose kidney disease and when blood or protein is found then this can be said one is having a kidney problem,” said Hegazy.
The medic said prevention of the disease one is required to maintain a healthy diet, take a lot water and exercise to avoid developing kidney problems which develop to renal failure necessitating dialysis.
“Bad eating habits for sure will cause some problems, we have to take a lot of water, a lot of salt can affect especially if the patients have high uric acids that can affect the kidney, decrease eating red meat, and decrease drinking too much of black tea, beans too have a lot of uric acid, alcohol and smoking damages the blood channels of the heart as well as the kidneys.” added the medic.
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