By Ovundah Nyeche.
He was referred to my hospital due to a long standing generalized body weakness and they also noticed he was passing coke-coloured urine as well. Indeed he was very weak and pale, a thirthy year old male and a graduate of a Nigerian university.
After interviewing and examining him; He admitted that He usually consumed herbal-based products and he was a habitual drinker. His pulse was racing and his heart was failing.
Over the next few days he had several blood transfusions and our fears were confirmed when our investigations showed that his kidneys had failed and he would require regular sessions of dialysis or have a renal transplant done to improve the quality of his life and increase life expectancy.
He is one of a number of young people with failed kidneys attended to last year, almost all of which was as a result of ingestion of herbal based products and supplements with spurious claims.
For the past few weeks, I have had several encounters with practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) ; they seem to be everywhere, even more in number than ants feasting on an open sugar container.
Just last week in Port Harcourt Nigeria, while getting some auto spare parts, they were advertising products which they claim flushes out candidiasis from the system; they even said that every discharge from the breast of a lady not pregnant was caused by the organism ‘candida’ and two sachets of this product will flush this organism out. They blamed candida for causing infertility in men and women. To further stamp on the authenticity of their product they dictated its NAFDAC number
Your’s truly if I did not know better, I would have have rushed to join the queue that had just assembled ; at the boot of their bus hung all kinds of scary pictures and all manner of packaged drug products, while one of the ‘trado guy’ was consulting, another was dispensing their products to their patients.. Sorry customers.
Well, they were thinking out of the box; at least they were giving it to another microorganism, after blaming ‘staphylococcus aureus’, ‘staph’ to death.
Just the other day while waiting to collect a consignment from someone, I was approached by two well-dressed young men who told me they had a wellness product to advertise to me.This product according to them could improve the blood sugar, blood pressure, improve libido, cause a long lasting and sustained erection
and had no side effects . I gave them a stern look after their talk, they were shocked I was not interested, I was more shocked people were bringing out their money to buy this product.
They are everywhere on TV ,radio and even on social media marketing products that at the long run causes more harm than good.
Many people use herbal products for the treatment of a wide range of diseases due to the claims of their efficacies by the manufacturers. However, there is little insight as to how they really work, no clear statement of content or medically related information on the package labels, their side effects and their interactions with food and other drugs.
5 years ago some researchers from the Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos while experimenting on the safety of some popular herbal products indicated that herbal remedies such as ‘agyanom mixture’, ‘bolex bitters’ and ‘remedia mixture’ have adverse effects on the kidney and they might not be safe for human consumption.
Robert Heyka, MD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Nephrology & Hypertension notes that certain herbs or nutritional supplements have been associated with kidney injury, even among healthy people. With such a wide variety of supplements available, the best way to get advice about a particular supplement is to ask your doctor to review all the ingredients to be sure it’s safe to use.
The US based National Kidney Foundation recently stated that some herbal supplements have aristolochic acid, which is harmful to kidneys and also that there are few studies to show if herbal supplements have real benefits and even less information in patients with kidney disease.
It is important to also know that Herbal supplements may interact with prescription medicines to either decrease or increase how the medicine works.
Most people with kidney disease don’t have any symptoms until they’re very sick, little wonder it is called a silent disease. Don’t be in a hurry to take medications you know nothing about; don’t be so reckless as to commit your life to people that don’t know better; don’t assume a drug is safe because you cited a NAFDAC number inscribed on the packet, don’t convert your body to a teapot of concoction all in the name of over zealous use of supplements.
Your kidneys and indeed your life is at stake.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2019.
Every 10th of September the World Health Organization in collaboration with the International Association of Suicide Prevention celebrates the World Suicide Prevention Day.
This year just like last year the theme is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.
Every year about 800,000 lose their lives by suicide and this amounts to a death by suicide every 40 seconds.
25 more people attempt suicides and many more have suicidal ideations.
Of those aged 15 – 29 years, suicide accounts for the second leading cause death, topped only by Road traffic accidents.
Suicide is a public health concern and any one can be affected, and it is very preventable.
Unfortunately suicide does not end the pain but passes it to family members, friends, colleagues and others.
Last Saturday, RivEthics an initiative of the first lady of Rivers State Justice Mrs Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike, did a suicide awareness/ prevention campaign on radio and yours truly was the guest.
You can listen or download the broadcast which is in English Language and Pidgin English via the link below.
Why do at last, what you should do at first?
By Ovundah Nyeche
If you know you will eventually go to the hospital, please do go there first.
What shall it profit you to go everywhere and anywhere and then eventually come to a real hospital when options are few and limited.
You have diabetes and you are convinced by friends and others to stop taking your medications and you immediately thrash your medications and you start munching bitter leaves, bitter kola and alcoholic bitters like because according to them, it will cure you of diabetes.
Subsequently, you miss all your appointments as you think diabetes is all about sugar control.
Well yeah, you noticed your sugar control is better, but you are feeling more unwell and you seem not to realize, your kidneys are going on strike.
You are diabetic, you have a boil and you allow ‘the enemy’ to use you to burst it and you keep dressing the wound at home even when it is obvious the wound is going left and becoming worse. To explain it away, you are told you stepped on ‘poison’ (diabolic) and you have to also use diabolic means to treat it.
You know your issues, diabetes, but you are deceived, because someone that speaks Queen’s English and has a visa puts your hand in a phoney machine and gives you highfalutin diagnosis and tells you to discard your regular medications.
I know the end of the story and it is usually not in your favour.
Please take your medications, instructions and appointments seriously and don’t take medical decisions based on hearsay or assumption.
#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries
Living Test Tubes…
By Ovundah Nyeche.
And so one day I was seated with a patient, who came for a particular complaint…
And boom the discussion turned to fibroids…
And boom I hear…
I am taking a herbal remedy for my fibroids…
And here was I sweating…
Madam, do you know what the herbal remedy you are taking contains? Nooooooooooo!
Madam, can you explain to me what fibroids are? The look changed to “if I had the chance, I will beat”… You can you explain to me what strength of material is? or explain to me the theory of relativity?…
Okay Madam, please do not be annoyed, “na play I dey play”…
Okay, jokes apart, how does this herbal remedy work? Erm how am I supposed to know?
Madam, you know you are on other drugs, does this herbal remedy interact with other drugs you are taking? And there was this “come young man you better behave yourself”… Well you know that look…
Erm Madam lest I forget, what are the side effects of this herbal remedy? “Haba” Doctor… These drugs are organic and have no side effect whatsoever…
Madam is beans you eat not organic? Shebi it has side effects… Which can range from firing, rumbling, peppering to praaaaaaaaa…
You say your medicine does not have any side effects at all? Yes oh…
Ironically, if a real doctor tells this patient anything, the patient will likely Google it… But when a wannabe is playing with the patient’s life…They will likely look the other way…
Don’t kill yourself for nothing…
#hearword #OvdSpeaks #hearwordseries
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