DAR ES SALAAM: MUHIMBILI National Hospital (MNH) Executive Director, Professor Mohamed Janabi has said the leading cause of kidney diseases to most individuals is careless or bad eating habits.
Prof Janabi said this recently during the launch of the Professor Jay Foundation in Dar es Salaam.
Kidney illness kills more people annually than breast or prostate cancer combined. “We can prevent kidney diseases by controlling what we eat. We have time to change our lifestyle to avoid diabetes which contributes to kidney deterioration,” Prof Janabi stated.
Prof Janabi further said that excessive consumption of processed foods, overeating, lack of balanced meals, and excessive consumption of alcohol lead to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and, eventually, chronic kidney disease.
According to him, one in four men and one in five women suffer from high blood pressure.
He said reckless food intake including frequent over eating retards the ability of pancreas to produce insulin, leading to a biological situation known as insulin resistance whereby the human body fails to control sugar level.
Prof Janabi said deterioration of the pancreas due to high body sugar level impedes the kidney’s capability to filter water and blood that contains toxic substances, causing chronic kidney ailments among others Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs).
He said most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body through the urine.
The production of urine involves highly complex steps of excretion and re-absorption, a process which is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals.
The critical regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. For example, a hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.
In short, the kidneys are powerful chemical factories that remove waste products from the body, remove drugs from the body, balance the body’s fluids, release hormones that regulate blood pressure, produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones and control the production of red blood cells.
“The heart pumps five litres of blood every minute at rest from which about 20 to 25 per cent, passing through the kidneys, equivalent to about 1,400 up to1800 litres per day. It filters 189 litres of water equivalent to 760 cups of water,” Prof Janabi said.
He said the organ also reabsorbs 100 per cent of glucose within the body except to people suffering from chronic kidney disease.
He said failure of the kidneys to perform accordingly causes accumulation of toxic substances in the body which can be noticed through various symptoms including fatigue, poor sleep, swelling of limbs and puffy face, and brown urine colour.
More significantly, he said it may cause erection dysfunction to men and lack of sex desire to women.
“Most are called early signs but actually they are advanced signs, in a sense that by the time you see them already you have a chronic kidney disease,” Prof Janabi said.
He urged citizens to carry out frequent health checks to spot their day to day body status for timely medical treatment.
Prof Janabi warned citizens to put their body weight in check to avoid obesity, diabetes and kidney disease, hinting that intermittent fasting, balanced diet and regular body exercise may be useful to reduce overweight and obesity.
He said chronic kidney disease is preventable provided people stay hydrated, desist from excessive eating processed food, avoid smoking and alcohol and get enough sleep.
The Professor Jay Foundation has been established by the renowned Hip hop Artist, Joseph Haule better known by his stage name, ‘Professor Jay’ to cater for chronic kidney disease treatment financing in the country.