Issue of September 9, 2018
Mt. Province

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Docs reiterate healthy lifestyle still best defense vs diseases
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

It is an often-repeated phrase but is also often ignored, until it becomes too late.

Doctors and medical experts advocating for altruistic organ donation reminded the public that having a healthy lifestyle remains the best defense against many diseases.

Dr. Virginia Mangati of the Baguio General Hospital said stress and consumption of food that are high in sugar, sodium, and fat content contribute to having non-communicable diseases and breakdown or weakening of vital body organs.

Mangati, who specializes in nephrology, said some of the cases she handled were partly due to an unhealthy lifestyle and too much intake of food supplements.

In the case of kidney diseases, she said cases are increasing every day. At BGHMC, she said that when the hospital’s hemodialysis unit started operating in 2014 to date, they have catered to around 2,000 patients. 

Mangati and several others are advocating for altruistic organ donation to give a better quality of life to patients undergoing lifetime dialysis, but there are not enough donors.

The Courier earlier reported the success story of two organ recipients. One of them, 37-year-old Brent Pino, said his kidneys broke down because of an unhealthy lifestyle.

He said he did not drink enough water, lacked sleep, and often ate salty food. He stressed that he does not have vices.

Before undergoing kidney transplant, Pino underwent dialysis for 14 months. Now the recipient of a new kidney, he said he now follows a healthier routine and drinks more water.

He also follows the restrictions prescribed by his doctor. He does not smoke, he manages his stress, eats a healthy diet, eats less red meat, avoids eating raw red meat, does not carry heavy objects, and stays away from contact sports.

He also religiously goes for follow-up checkups to ensure that his body does not reject the transplanted kidney.

Mangati said the success rate of organ donation is high with kidney recipients living for as long as 20 years.

Mangati said even organ donors are monitored although compared with the recipients, there are hardly any restrictions for them.

She said any donor, regardless of age, may donate but they are encouraging first-degree relatives and those who are 21 to 50 years old to donate their organs.

Lorma Medical Center Transplant coordinator Shannaleigh Flores said organ transplant in government hospitals costs around P600,000 and around P850,000 to P900,000 in private hospitals.

According to Philippine Network for Organ Sharing, other organs that can be donated are liver, pancreas, cornea, bones, skin, lungs, and heart, among others.

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