A few days ago, I remember having a conversation with my colleague on how the process of organ donation still sounds so scary and not with a place like Nigeria where there are still some cultural setbacks, and more awareness needs to be created. My colleague then pointed out that making the decision to donate one’s organ is about the toughest steps one would venture into; it’s hard to do so even for someone as close as your spouse/parent/child and those who refuse to donate can’t be blamed as the thought of endangering their own lives becomes their constant fear.
This conversation sparked the topic of today’s blog post, that its safer we value our organs and find ways to preserve them rather than being in the situation of having to scout for an organ. Like it’s always said, “prevention is better than cure”, yes there are situations that do get out of our control as some can be genetically imposed but it’s important, we do our optimum best to avert some circumstances as much as we can.
My question to you dear reader is how much you value your organs (eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver… the list is endless)? Would you rather spend millions on organ transplant or follow practices that will preserve your organs and in the long run improve your chances of better living? In Africa, organ transplant and its services are still very rare and for countries that perform them, the costs are quite overwhelming. In America alone, more than a 100 000 are on the waiting list for a transplant and every 10 minutes a new person is being added to the list. The global demand for human organs has heightened by 7.2% since 2015 and in 2022 over 42 800 transplants were conducted and the figures keep rising.
Not everyone gets a chance at a new organ and even if they do, there are other factors like organ failure that can be a potential challenge asides costs and availability. Our organs are constantly at work, whether we’re active or at rest and some have of them like the brain, heart and lungs can’t take a break as our lives depend on them due to the vital roles they play. One interesting fact is that our organs work in an interconnected way, so ensuring the health of one organ can also improve the function of the others.
Here are ways to value and care for your organs:
- Consistent hydration: our bodies are made up of 70% of water; so many organs are dependent on it to fully function. Water helps in transportation of nutrients and immune cell where they are needed, flushes out harmful substances, regulates our temperature and so much more. The kidneys need water to remove toxins from the blood so poor consumption of water can make it difficult for your organs to get rid of waste.
- Eat enriching foods: fast foods are nice and mostly readily available, but they cause a lot of damage than good. We must find ways to substitute refined sugars from carbonated drinks, burgers, fries, canned products for healthier options like natural ones found in fruits and vegetables (apples, bananas, watermelon, spinach, broccoli, ugwu and the rest).
- Keep your body moving: exercise makes a lot of people uninterested but physical activity is not limited to going to the gym or weightlifting alone, you could do evening walks, jogging, skipping indoors or fun options like swimming, anything to get your body on the go. Exercise helps reduce chances of high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, helps keep your weight in check and also increases muscle strength.
- Go for regular check-ups: avoid waiting till when you are sick or things go out of hand, regular check-ups help detect issues on time and prevents them from getting worse. At HCI Healthcare, we have special packages that enable you schedule for check-ups even in the absence of sickness, don’t sleep on this.
- Avoid excessive use of OTCs: Taking too many un-recommended medicines or mixing them all at once can damage your liver. If you have persistent symptoms its best to seek medical advice from a health practitioner than to self-medicate, this is quite dangerous as you may not know which medicines are safe to take together.
- Review your lifestyle practices/habits: its time you have a little self-talk and begin to review some of the habits you’ve been indulging in that are detrimental to your health, this is not a matter of age but taking steps in the positive direction. Habits like smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, late night eating, insufficient sleep all have effects on our organs.
It is important to care for the organs that serve us, so they keep working for a longer time. Organ donation is not bad but not many would want to consider giving up their organs so placing great value on them to prevent certain conditions is the way to go.
We at HCI HMO care and that’s why we are committed to being at your service to ensure you live life at its best. If you have any questions and enquiries, we have a dedicated team always ready to help out.
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO