KIDNEY diseases rank as the No. 9 killer in the Philippines, causing death to about 7,000 Filipinos every year.

As of 2011 and 2012, the number of dialysis patients increased by 135 in Region VII.

Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center kidney transplant surgeon Dr. Alvin Roxas said their youngest kidney transplant patient in Cebu City was 12 years old and the oldest was 78 years old.

He said the most difficult thing in having the kidney transplant is to find a kidney donor.

Kidney transplant has 90 to 95 percent success rate.

He said Cebuanos don’t need to go to Manila to have the transplant, if you have a kidney donor, VSMMC will accommodate immediately.

Roxas said kidney diseases are preventable if diagnosed early in the course of illness.

By regular exercise, having a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep and avoiding smoking, kidney diseases can be avoided.

Roxas said self-medication is not advisable.

Taking pain killers and food supplements without a doctor’s prescription can cause kidney diseases.

“How sure are we if it’s BFAD-approved and it’s okay?” he said.

A lot of people take food supplements without knowing that they have something that can damage the kidney, he said.

“Food supplements has no therapeutic claim, but their advertisements end up claiming therapeutic values left and right—for arthritis, heart problem even for height and beauty,” he Roxas said. Janelle Paula Blaire L. Arcayos, USJ-R Masscom Intern