Health & Beauty

6 Causes of Kidney Diseases in Nigeria

The kidney is one of the vital organs in the human body responsible a whole lot of homeostatic functions in the human body. Thee major function of the kidney is to filter the blood and excrete metabolic by-products.

These metabolic by products are passed off as urine. The kidney is also responsible for electrolyte balance and regulation of blood pressure.

Kidney diseases refers to conditions and problems with the kidneys and its function. Kidney diseases are majorly of two types; acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease.

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6 Causes of Kidney Diseases in Nigeria
Prevention of Kidney Diseases – Photo Source:

In acute kidney diseases, kidney function is lost abruptly and can occur due to a variety of causes while in chronic kidney disease, the kidney degenerates slowly up until its functions are impaired. Research have shown that there is a rise in the prevalence of chronic kidney diseases (CKD).

Chronic kidney diseases, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. When chronic kidney diseases reach an advanced stage, dangerous levels, electrolyte and wastes can build up in your body.

Early stages of chronic kidney diseases may have few signs or symptoms. This can progress to end stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtrating (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.

Diseases like diabetic nephropathy, glomerulonephritis, kidney stone leads finally if it remains untreated to kidney failure. These diseases have been

related to the elderly for so long but of recent there have been a rise in CKD in young adults as well. The function of the kidney is affected mostly by our life style due to it performs the function of purifying the blood of all the toxic substances we take in on a daily basis.

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 Cause of Kidney Disease

Here are a few known factors that increase the risk of an individual being prone to kidney disease in Nigeria:

1. Poorly controlled Type 1 or type 2 Diabetes

With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body retains more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling.

You may also have proteins present in your urine, this condition is also known as proteinuria. Also, waste materials will build up in the blood. Diabetes may also cause damages to nerves in your body.

This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The resulting pressure from the full bladder can back up and injure the kidney.

Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.

Signs of kidney disease caused by diabetes include, albumin in the urine, high blood pressure, ankle and leg swelling, leg cramps, going to the bathroom more often at night, high levels of BUN and creatinine in blood, less need for insulin, morning sickness, nausea weakness, paleness, anemia, vomiting and itching.

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2. Poorly Controlled Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

Over time, high blood pressure harms renal blood vessels. The nephrons in the kidneys are supplied with a dense network of blood vessels, and high volumes of blood flow through them.

Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken or harden. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.

Due to these damaged vessels, the nephrons do not receive the essential oxygen and nutrients and the kidney loses their ability to filter blood and regulate the fluid, hormones, acids and salts in the body.

3. Consumption of herbal remedies

Some herbal drugs are not dosage dependent, might not be pure and might contain toxic substances like aristolochic acid which is particularly dangerous to the kidney.

These herbal mixtures may also contain heavy metals and some of these drugs may also contain substances which may alter the properties of some supplements and introduce a load of toxic agents in the body.

4. Analgesic Addiction (Drug Abuse)

Analgesic nephropathy is injury to the kidneys caused by analgesic medications like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen. This is caused by an excessive use or consumption of this analgesics or pain killers.

The scarring of the small blood vessels, called capillary sclerosis is the initial lesion of analgesic nephropathy. How these analgesics carry out this is still unknown but it’s thought to come about when there is an excessive use and combination of component elements of these drugs.

5. Smoking

Smoking plays a role in the progression of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). Smoking affects lots of factors in the body altering the body homostatic balance. Smoking increases blood pressure and heart rate.

It also reduces blood flow to the kidneys, damages blood vessels, forms arterosclerosis (thickening and hardening) of renal arteries and accelerate loss of kidney functions

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6. Obesity

In obese individuals, there is a presence of microalbuminuria and this predicts future development of overt diabetic nephropathy. There is also a substantial evidence that this risk is genetically determined and has led searches for a nephropathy gene.

Furthermore, among hypertensive individuals, those with hyperinsulinemia have microalbuminuria and an increased rate of chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease.

All the above factors are some of the major factors responsible for chronic kidney diseases. Some conditions like prostate cancer in men, cervical cancer in females, kidney stone, thrombosis or embolus (blood clots within the urinary tract) and trauma or damage to the nerves that control the bladder.

Glumerulonephritis is a situation where a patient’s body produces substances like proteins, called antibodies, which attack the kidney and destroys it. This is a condition that also eventually leads to kidney diseases.


To reduce your risk developing kidney disease

Follow instructions on dosage of over the counter medications. When using nonprescription pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, follow the instructions on the package.

Taking too many pain killers should be avoided in all individuals especially those already with kidney disease.

Always be physically active. It helps you maintain a good body weight. Always watch your food intake and monitor your body weigh in order not to stray into being obese or over weight.

If you need to lose weight talk to a doctor or nutritionist to give you healthy tips on how to lose weight the good way.

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Don’t smoke. A cigarette contains quite an amount of toxic substances which not only poses threat to the kidney but also to many more vital organs in the body.

Manage your medical and health conditions properly. Always visit the hospital for proper medications and tips on how to live a healthier and better life

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Arnold Chidubem

Chidubem Arnold is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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