Tina Turner Shared Health Story Only 2 Months Before Her Death
Two months before her death on Wednesday, Tina Turner shared her experience with hypertension and how it contributed to kidney failure.
In March, Turner helped launch Show Your Kidneys Love, an awareness campaign by the European Kidney Health Alliance.
She shared that she was diagnosed with hypertension in 1978 “but didn’t care much about it” and “considered high blood pressure my normal.” Turner said she was prescribed daily medication for hypertension in 1985 but convinced herself that the pills made her feel worse and turned to homeopathic medicine.
“Rarely in my life had I been so wrong. I had not known that uncontrolled hypertension would worsen my renal disease and that I would kill my kidneys by giving up on controlling my blood pressure,” she shared. “I never would have replaced my medication by the homeopathic alternatives if I had had an idea how much was at stake for me. Thanks to my naivety I had ended up at the point where it was about life or death.”
In 2009, she suffered a stroke and learned that her kidneys had lost 35 percent of their function.
“Some of the symptoms that I blamed on the medication, like my fatigue, nausea or occasional irritability, were really signs of my kidney disease in its final stage,” Turner recalled. “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.”
Turner said her husband Erwin Bach offered one of his kidneys.
“It was the first step to kidney transplantation, a very complex procedure,” she wrote. “The months after the transplantation were marked by a never ending up and down. From time to time my body tried to reject the donor kidney as it frequently happens after a transplantation. Every so often this required more hospital admissions. I kept feeling nauseous and dizzy, forgot things, and was scared a lot.”
Turner urged people to learn about their kidneys.
“I had not been aware that chronic kidney failure is called ‘silent killer’ because symptoms do not become noticeable until 80 percent of renal tissue is lost,” she wrote. “As it happened to me, hypertension is one of the most frequent causes of kidney failure.”
Turner died at her home in Switzerland on Wednesday “after a long illness,” according to her rep. She was 83.
Listen to music from Tina Turner