NATHAN AND HIS KIDNEYS
All through his adult life, Nathan had always worried about developing a chronic kidney ailment. This is because he had had family members who suffered from one kidney condition or the other. Nathan was well aware of the risk factors that could lead to kidney diseases. He had been told repeatedly that diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and genetics were some of the risk factors linked with kidney diseases.
Despite his worries, Nathan had taken on an unhealthy lifestyle over the years. He was already obese but could not quit eating junk food at odd hours of the day. He believed exercising was hard work, and hence, he avoided it like the plague. Additionally, he was addicted to drinking and smoking. He continued with this lifestyle despite repeated pleas from family and loved ones.
His fight with his kidneys started when he was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus due to his high sugar intake and insulin resistance over time. His condition was complicated by frequent increases in his blood pressure levels, which meant that he was at risk of damaging his kidneys’ blood vessels, which could greatly impair his kidney functions.
Discovering the extent of his deteriorating health condition did not deter Nathan from continuing his unhealthy habits, and he never made the necessary lifestyle changes. This led to the development of sudden symptoms such as a sharp pain around his pelvis region and frequent urinating.
The sharp pains occurred intermittently and changed location from his back, belly, or waist, and he wondered why he felt the urge to urinate as often as he did. Before long, these symptoms evolved into swellings in his legs, feet, and ankles. These swellings stretched to his face, accompanied by vomiting and nausea.
Nathan tried to hide his symptoms as his condition deteriorated further. His urine turned bloody with a cloudy/ foamy appearance and a foul smell. Constant fatigue set in with the loss of appetite and extreme bodily emaciation. At the recommendation of his family doctor, Nathan decided to visit a nephrologist.
First of all, the nephrologist performed a physical exam on Nathan to check for physical signs and symptoms. The doctor ordered a series of tests, including blood tests for Creatinine, Urea, and Electrolytes, to further ascertain a diagnosis. Nathan explained that these tests were supposed to examine his Kidney’s excretory ability.
Further tests were carried out on Nathan’s Urine sample, and an ultrasound scan of his kidneys was done to assess their size and structure. Results from these tests signified an anomaly in his kidney function, and this led to him being diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. Nathan was devastated.
He wished he had taken better care of his kidneys. He felt if he had been more careful about his lifestyle choices, things would not have gotten as complicated as they did. He was filled with regrets as his condition had no cure, and his doctors could only focus on treating his symptoms to avoid total kidney damage.
Your kidneys are one of the most valuable organs in the body, and if not well taken care of, they can be prone to diseases like Chronic Kidney Disease. They are meant to dispose of waste and excess body fluids by converting them to urine. Once your kidneys cannot perform this function, waste piles up in your body, exerting pressure on other organs and causing them to fail.
However, you have the power to care for your kidneys by eating balanced meals at all times and making healthy lifestyle choices like exercising, getting ample rest or sleep, avoiding/limiting alcohol intake, and avoiding smoking. Furthermore, you can also limit stress-inducing activities and manage underlying diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension.
Early detection and diagnosis also go a long way in providing a lasting remedy to chronic kidney diseases and should be prioritized. Hence, there is a need for a regular check-up. Do not wait to be diagnosed like Nathan did, keep your kidneys healthy today!