Nephrologist Urges Nigerians to Drink More Water for Healthy Kidneys

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By Rebecca Ejifoma

Consultant Nephrologist and Head of Clinical Services, Healing Stripes Hospital, Dr Adedamola Akinsiku, has harped on the importance of adequate rehydration, as he said regular consumption of water saves the kidney.

The expert made this known during an interview session with THISDAY to mark World Kidney Day 2021 with the theme, “Living Well with Kidney Disease”.

In line with the theme, Akinsiku said, “To live well with kidney disease, adopt and abide by the eight golden rules for optimal maintenance.”

Among the eight golden rules is adequate rehydration. “I go about with water more often than not. We live in the tropics; it is a bit more humid here. So we lose more fluid than we realise and we don’t ingest adequate amount.”

He reminded Nigerians that part of the functions of the kidney is to process water in the kidney. “So, there is a huge difference between water and soft drinks,” he emphasised, “We need to drink adequate water”.

He also mentioned the need for checking the blood pressure regularly. Others are: avoid herbal concoctions, ingesting agents that are unorthodox and can’t be vouched for; avoid painkillers, over-the-counter medications; smoking; and excess alcohol.

Akinsiku emphasised: “If you notice your urine foams a lot just like detergent – yes, our urine will naturally foam a bit. It is the change in the severity that matters. When it foams a lot especially for alcoholics they see it foam from the regular, go for check.”

He, however, outlined symptoms of kidney disease. According to him, one of the common ways moderate to advance kidney tends to present is that patient keeps feeling unwell, weak, and unable to function optimally. “People term it as malaria, hence, use anti malaria and painkillers which worsen the condition.”

The nephrologist, therefore, spoke against over-the-counter medications and painkillers that cause harm to vital organs like the kidney.

While explaining the harm such medication does to the kidney, the nephrologist recounted, “Last week, I saw an elderly man who had orthopaedic complaints and was placed on NSAIDs painkillers, analgesics. He developed kidney failure. Now he is doing dialysis.”

According to Akinsiku, this is highly preventable if they had not given the man painkillers. “There are different classes of pain killers. It will have been better if they gave the ones that are kidney friendly than giving the ones that are deleterious or nephrotoxic.”

Therefore, to champion healthy kidney and living well with kidney disease, the expert recommended to Nigerians to keep in constant touch with specialists who will monitor them.