Pharmacist explains causes of kidney failure
Rotkang Okunola, a pharmacist at the University of Jos has identified self-medication, abuse of painkillers and antibiotics as some of the leading causes of kidney damage. Okunola, who is a lecturer with the University of Jos, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.
She said indiscriminate intake of drugs such as painkillers and strong antibiotics could damage the kidney and eventually lead to kidney failure.
She also said that self-prescription was responsible for the cases of drug resistance in the society, adding that most people who indulged in the practice either failed to adhere to the number of days to take the drugs or failed to take them as and when due.
The pharmacist cautioned people who indulged in self-medication to desist from it, saying the act was highly inimical to their health. She also said that diseases such as hypertension and diabete mellitus if not managed or poorly managed could also lead to damage of the kidney. She advised individuals with family history of kidney diseases to ensure that they went for regular kidney function tests ( blood tests and ultrasound scan) as kidney diseases could also be hereditary.
She advised that people should learn the habit of checking their blood sugar level and their blood pressure, cultivate healthy eating habit and take only prescribed drugs as directed. A correspondent of NAN spoke with some residents of Jos who indulged in self-medication, including Miss Simi Chollom, a student of the Plateau State Polytechnic.
Chollom said whenever she had fever, she just takes anti-malarial drug instead of going to the hospital to ascertain the actual cause of the fever. On her part, Mrs Mary Bitrus said she stopped self-medicating after she almost lost her life.
Bitrus said she was treating malaria which wasn’t abating, without knowing that she had hepatitis B, until she went to the hospital for proper checks and the actual cause of her ailment was diagnosed. She vowed never to indulge in the act again.
Other causes of kidney failure are smoking, alcohol, excessive bleeding, urinary tract infections, severe diarrhoea, kidney stones, obesity, systemic lupus erythromatosis, dehydration and the commonest cause of kidney damage among Nigerians which is skin bleaching.