To get started, let’s take a look at how the body works. Let’s look at the Urinary System for example,basically your kidneys, urethra and bladder. Did you know that as simple as holding urine when you are pressed is bad for your kidney? Yes it is. You will surprised that not many people know this.
When you hold urine in your bladder for too long, it can damage your bladder. Bacteria multiplies very quickly in the bladder and when this happens, the urine with the multiplied bacteria can then reflux back to the kidneys via the ureters. As you may have figured out, this is bad news as it can cause kidney infections and urinary tract infection. So when nature calls, please go to the loo as soon as possible and you are advised to drink as much fluid as possible especially in very hot weather (except when you are on restricted fluid intake due to some medical conditions)
Did you also know that Black Africans are 3-5 times more likely to suffer from kidney failure requiring dialysis?
Do you know how many children that have been orphaned no thanks to kidney failure? Countless.
Kidney failure can happen to anyone but it always helps if you stay ahead of it.
Speaking of high blood pressure, did you know that well over 50 million Nigerians suffer from high blood pressure? This is according to the Nigerian Medical Association in 2013. Sadly by the time they realised it is high blood pressure, its always very late most times and their lives are already at risk. Apart from being a killer disease on its own, did you know high blood pressure is always associated with other health risks including stroke, kidney failure, cardiac arrest and ultimately lead to untimely death. We hear about people dying every day and if you ask what happened, families will say ” just headache and weakness”.
So what causes high blood pressure? The cause is unknown in majority of cases but there are factors that can raise your risk.
Obviously the older you get, the higher your risk.
If you have a family history of hypertension, then watch out, it seems to run in the family. Being African/Nigerian also makes you be at risk too. If you eat too much salt, yes salt again, it increases your risk. If you are overweight/obese, you are definitely at more risk. If you smoke or consume large amounts of alcohol, even you know that is bad for you.
If you don’t do any form of exercise, you are at more risk.
So how can you prevent having hypertension?
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It will do you a lot of good. Eat less salt, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Reduce your alcohol intake and QUIT smoking.
Did you know caffeine intake may increase your blood pressure?
If you are a big fan of coffee,tea fizzy drinks like Coke, Fanta and the likes of them, consider reducing your intake.
It is fine to drink tea/coffee and fizzy drinks but more than 4 cups a day will harm you.Why not opt for decaffeinated option of tea and coffee. There are plenty of them around. Rather than have fizzy drinks all the time, why not dilute it up with water?
These little adjustments will help you a great deal. Most of all, drink plenty of clean water, you can’t go wrong with water! so prevention is better than cure. Reduce your salt intake now and save yourself the hassle of kidney problems and high blood pressure.
So what signs should you look for?
If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can lead to more serious diseases like stroke, heart diseases and kidney failure. If you are having persistent headaches, blurred or double vision, nose bleeds and shortness of breath, I suggest you go and have your blood pressure checked.
It only takes less than 5 minutes for the doctor to check it for you.
And the digital blood pressure machines are available and easy to use nowadays. You don’t even need to be a medical person to use one.
Here is what it looks like
You can do it yourself once you buy the kit. You can record your readings (2 or more) and see your doctor. So you have no excuse of not knowing. If you can’t get the kit, find a hospital or a pharmacy to do it. They will only charge you a small fee. If you already have hypertension, that is if your blood pressure is always above 140/85, start making changes to your lifestyle.
Eat healthy, eat low fat ad balanced diet and start getting active. No exercise is too small. Loose weight if you are obese.
If your blood pressure is always above 160/100, your doctor will offer you tablets to lower your blood pressure but don’t let it get to that.
Catch it early and give yourself a good chance.
I could write the medications here, but I would not want you to self medicate, so always get expert opinion before you use any medication.
There are many more common healthy issues I want to talk about like Kidney stones, what are they, how can I prevent them?
Asthma, whooping cough, tips on how to protect yourself from catching deadly infections off people when you are in a crowded place and 0thers like Diabetes mellitus, cancers and lots more but I will stop here for now.
Over the next few days, you will get more emails from me on some medical problems, what to do and giving you tips on how to live a healthy life every day.
But for now, if you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to ask me by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be more than happy to reply your email as soon as I can.
Let’s reduce untimely death in Nigeria. Thank you for reading
Medical Doctor & Reseacher