Tina Turner admitted kidney disease put health in ‘great danger’ before death

Tina Turner admitted that her health was in “great danger” just two months before her death.

The legendary singer — who passed away Wednesday at the age of 83 after a “long illness” — opened up about her battle with kidney disease on March 9 in honor of International Kidney Day.

“My kidneys are victims of my not realising [sic] that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine,” she told her Instagram followers at the time.

“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.”

In an accompanying blog post for ShowYourKidneysLove.com, Turner explained that she was diagnosed with hypertension in 1978.

At the time, she admitted she “didn’t care much about it” and “didn’t really try to control it.”

Tina Turner
Tina Turner admitted that her kidney disease had put her health in “great danger” just two months before her death.

In 1985, the musician was prescribed pills that she was “supposed to take” daily.

“After suffering a stroke in 2009 because of my poorly controlled hypertension I struggled to get back up on my feet,” she penned. “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.”

Here’s what to know about legendary singer Tina Turner

The “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” died at 83 on Wednesday after a prolific career that spanned decades.

Tina — who was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2021 — sold more than 100 million records worldwide throughout her career, with songs including the anthemic hit “The Best” and her solo comeback single “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

She scored her first and only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the song, which kicked off her 1980s career resurgence.

Tina was 44 at the time, making her the oldest solo female artist to top the Hot 100 chart.

The singer and actress had 12 total Grammy Awards, including eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Turner eventually “developed a fatal dislike” of her prescription pills and even “convinced” herself that they made her feel “worse.”

So without consulting with her doctors, she “replaced” her “conventional medication” with “homeopathic” remedies.

Tina Turner
“My kidneys are victims of my not realising [sic] that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine,” she confessed on March 9.
Getty Images

“Indeed, I started feeling better after a while,” the 12-time Grammy winner noted. However, she was in for a rude awakening when she went for her “next routine check-up.”

“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 confessed.

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“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.”

Turner’s doctors “made it very clear” that the “consequences” of her decision were “irreversible,” informing her that her kidney function “had reached its all-time low.”

The songstress’ “only option” was to “start dialysis,” which she was on for nine months.

Tina Turner
The singer was on dialysis for nine months before receiving a kidney transplant from her second husband, Erwin Bach, in April 2017.
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

“But it was depressing to be connected to a machine for hours,” she lamented, adding that her second husband, Erwin Bach, “offered to donate one of his kidneys” to her.

Though she felt “lucky,” she admitted that the “very complex procedure” in April 2017 was followed by months of “never ending up[s] and down[s],” as her “body tried to reject the donor kidney as it frequently happens after a transplantation.”

“Every so often this required more hospital admissions,” she wrote. “I kept feeling nauseous and dizzy, forgot things, and was scared a lot. These problems are still not quite resolved.”

At the time, Turner insisted she was taking “multiple prescriptions” and following her “doctors’ orders meticulously.”

Tina Turner
Turner passed away Wednesday at the age of 83 after a “long illness.”
Corbis via Getty Images

On Wednesday, Turner’s team took to her Instagram to announce her death.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” the statement read.

“Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”

The “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” hitmaker is survived by Bach, 67, and two of her four children.

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