Health, Lifestyle
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5 causes of sudden death that don’t come from the village

We live in a superstitious country. Most Nigerians hardly believe any sudden death naturally happened. It’s common for people to start pointing accusing fingers at “wicked relatives” and running off to churches to ward off evil ones when a sudden death happens in the family.

But the truth is that most times, these sudden deaths are the fault of the victims. The body keeps giving off little signs that everything isn’t okay but gets ignored until one day complications arise and the victim stops breathing and drops dead.

Most of these deaths occur 1 to 24 hours after the onset of major symptoms, which is why they seem so sudden because one minute they’re there, the next they are gone.

Here’s a list of some causes of sudden deaths that might not have been sent from the village:

  • Coronary heart disease: annually about 335,000 people worldwide die suddenly from coronary heart diseases without ever being admitted into a hospital. In Nigeria, coronary heart disease is the most common cause of sudden cardiac deaths and many of the cases were not previously diagnosed. Coronary heart disease is caused by the buildup of fats (called plaque) in the arteries which supply blood to the heart muscles and this is often due to poor dietary habits and it leads to high blood pressure. When an obese person suddenly dies from hypertension you can’t still believe his wicked uncle in the village killed him.

  • Cerebrovascular disease: commonly known as stroke, this disease can be caused by either a blood clot or blockage that cuts off blood flow to a part of the brain or by a rupture that leads to bleeding in the brain. This can cause damage or death of the brain tissue resulting to paralysis, speech disorders, swallowing problems and death. Diabetic and hypertensive patients are at a higher risk of stroke.

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): this is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein. It is a form of inflammation of a vein with clot formation. DVT is a medical emergency, it can occur without symptoms but sometimes the affected area would be painful, swollen, red, warm and the superficial veins may be swollen. It commonly affects the legs veins, the deep veins of the pelvis and occasionally the veins of the arm. The most serious complication of DVT is that’s the clot might dislodge and travel to the lungs which is called pulmonary embolism. Real deadly stuff.
  • Diabetes mellitus: aka type two diabetes or adult onset diabetes. This is a chronic disease that lowers the immune system and can increase the risk of stroke, heart diseases and other circulatory problems. Wounds take longer to heal and respiratory infections like pneumonia often are more severe. Complications from this disease can lead to sudden death. I have unfortunately experienced sudden death caused by this disease. It happens so quickly, you sincerely doubt it was natural.
  • Drug abuse; abuse of unlicensed medications, abuse of substance used for treatment without advice from a medical practitioner can lead to dangerous drug interactions which might lead to sudden death.

No one prays to die suddenly until they’ve attained a ripe old age where the death can be referred to as peaceful. Most of these sudden deaths are not invoked from the shrine, so the only way you can help yourself is to regularly go for health check-ups and screenings. That way any irregularities in your body would be detected on time and remedies would be administered.

Death is inevitable and non-negotiable but dying suddenly is traumatic within a family. The best you can do for yourself and your family is to be vigilant when it comes to your health.

I am, @Lord__Nina

Views expressed are only those of the authors.

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