Less than 8 hours after the death of music producer, song writer and singer OJB Jezreel (Babatunde Okungbowa), the family this afternoon (Tuesday, June 14) confirmed everyone’s fear that his kidney collapsed. The 49 year old husband of three wives and father of eight children had undergone a kidney transplant in 2013, was upbeat and sprightly for some time until a relapse snatched him.
And many are worried about how kidneys function, how to keep them in top shape, and what can make them fail and collapse.
Here are some quick facts about the vital organ :
1. Kidneys are located in the abdomen, towards the back and are positioned on each spine.
2. Kidneys filter waste products from the blood, regulate blood pressure and electrolyte balance and help in producing red blood cells.
3. Kidneys regulate how much water you pass out as urine – and the color, depending on hydration.
4. Once you have the following symptoms, your kidney may be failing : weakness, shortness of breath, confusion, lethargy, swelling, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeats, joint stiffness…
5. For kidney failure to fail, both must be damaged. But if only one is failing, it can be removed and the patient can still live almost a healthy life.
6. Sustained dehydration may compound kidney functions, and eventually lead to failure.
7. Kidney failure is discovered by blood test, abdominal ultrasound or kidney biopsy.
8. Controlling blood pressure and diabetes help in arresting the development of kidney diseases.
9. Sepsis ( when body’s immunity is compromised by infection and shuts down the kidney) is a major cause of failure. Medications may cause sepsis, and such drugs include pain killers, antibiotics, drugs containing iodine…
10. Muscle breakdown may cause failure after damaging and clogging the system. Accidents may cause muscle breakdown.
11. Diseases also may cause failure. Such diseases cause inflammation and obstruct the filtering system.
12. Others causes are kidney stones, poorly managed diabetes, hypertension and prostrate diseases.
13. One of the ways to preserve your kidneys is through diet. And those with kidney problems should avoid potassium rich foods and those high in phosphorus like bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, milk, cheese, nuts, soft drinks, sardines and whole grain products, among many.
14. To arrest kidney collapse, different categories of medications are used. And they include those that reduce phosphorus, stimulate production of red blood cell, manage hypertension and produce vitamins.
15. When the failure cannot be arrested, dialysis (cleansing of the body of waste products) and transplant ( replacement of the kidneys ) are the next steps. There are two types of dialysis – hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
16. The first year after a transplant, 95 percent of transplanted kidneys still function. And in five years, 80 percent.
17. If transplanted kidney fails, another transplant or dialysis is recommended.
18. A doctor who specializes in kidney disease is called nephrologist.