Two months prior to her death this week at age 83, Tina Turner opened up about having put herself “in great danger” over her health.
For International World Kidney Day on March 9, the music superstar warned her social media followers about the importance of keeping an eye on your kidney health, especially since the kidneys can begin to fail without pain.
“Show your kidneys love! They deserve it. My kidneys are victims of my not realising that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion.”
According to the National Kidney Foundation, people may not notice kidney failure at first, as symptoms often develop slowly. Diabetes and high blood pressure are responsible for two-thirds of chronic kidney disease cases, the foundation adds.
When did Tina Turner have a kidney transplant?
Turner’s post was in connection with an international campaign for kidney health, which directed fans to learn more about her story and organ health via the website www.showyourkidneyslove.com.
On the site, the singer recounted how high blood pressure, which she was diagnosed with in 1978, led to her kidney issues.
“After suffering a stroke in 2009 because of my poorly controlled hypertension I struggled to get back up on my feet. This is when I first learned that my kidneys didn’t work that well anymore. They had already lost thirty-five percent of their function,” she recounted in the post. “In order to survive, I had to start dialysis. It was my only option, but it was depressing to be connected to a machine for hours. For the next nine months, all my life was about dialysis.”
The next step? An organ transplant from her husband, German music executive Erwin Bach, in 2017.
“I was lucky that Erwin offered to donate one of his kidneys to me. It was the first step to kidney transplantation, a very complex procedure,” she said.
Turner, whose rose to stardom in the 1960s and became a global music icon, died “after a long illness” at her home in Switzerland, her spokesperson, Bernard Doherty, confirmed in a statement Wednesday. There were no further details released on the illness or cause of death.
What is kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease happens when someone’s kidneys become damaged and over time may not clean the blood as well as healthy kidneys do, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains.
“If kidneys do not work well, toxic waste and extra fluid accumulate in the body and may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and early death,” the CDC adds.
About 37 million people are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, according to the CDC, which is about 1 in 7 U.S. adults.
What are kidney disease symptoms?
While most people may not experience severe symptoms until kidney disease is advanced, the National Kidney Foundation says symptoms can include:
Doctors can perform blood and urine tests in order to check your kidney function and make an appropriate treatment plan, the organization adds.