Change lifestyle, drink plain wa­ter to stave off kid­ney fail­ure

New Straits Times - - Letters -

I RE­FER to the let­ter “We don’t no­tice this silent killer un­til it’s too late” (NST, March 17).

When­ever I have lunch at a restau­rant, I ob­serve that al­most none of the cus­tomers drink plain wa­ter, pre­fer­ring sweet drinks such as iced tea or or­ange juice.

Most of the time, I am the only cus­tomer at the restau­rant who has plain wa­ter.

My late fa­ther was di­ag­nosed with kid­ney fail­ure be­cause he did not con­sume enough wa­ter.

Kid­ney fail­ure oc­curs when it has no con­trol over the ex­cre­tion of waste nor the vol­ume of blood.

I also have a rel­a­tive who has been un­der­go­ing dial­y­sis treat­ment for sev­eral years and he is just a lit­tle older than me.

He con­fessed that be­ing very busy at work he had not given much thought to his health.

He did not drink plain wa­ter but a lot of sweet drinks, es­pe­cially dur­ing of­fice meet­ings and events.

Fur­ther­more, he said that if he had a lot of plain wa­ter to drink, he had to visit the toi­let of­ten, which he dis­liked.

Ma­jor risk fac­tors for kid­ney fail­ure in­clude di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure, fam­ily his­tory and be­ing 60 or older.

The Na­tional Kid­ney Foun­da­tion of Malaysia re­ports that kid­ney fail­ure is caused by di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure.

Sixty per cent of new cases of dial­y­sis pa­tients in this coun­try suf­fer from these con­di­tions.

The 22nd re­port of the Malaysian Dial­y­sis and Trans­plant Reg­is­ter in 2014 re­ported that over the past 10 years, there had been a 100 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of new dial­y­sis pa­tients who suf­fered from chronic kid­ney dis­ease.

By the end of 2015, the statis­tics showed that nearly 40,000 Malaysians needed reg­u­lar dial­y­sis and 90 per cent of them needed haemodial­y­sis treat­ment at least three times a week.

If we do not want this num­ber to es­ca­late, and to pre­vent this dis­ease, we don’t need ex­pen­sive medicine. Just change your lifestyle.

Avoid al­co­hol, stop smok­ing, have a bal­anced diet, ex­er­cise and drink a lot of plain wa­ter.

Se­condly, do medical check­ups an­nu­ally.

As kid­ney dis­ease of­ten has no symp­toms, a sim­ple urine or blood test can de­tect it. To re­duce risk of the dis­ease, we just need aware­ness and a change in our at­ti­tude to­wards health.

Health is among the most pre­cious things. Once it is gone, there is no turn­ing back the clock.

DR SITI SURIANI OTH­MAN

Se­nior Lec­turer, Fac­ulty of Lead­er­ship and Man­age­ment, Univer­siti Sains Is­lam Malaysia

To re­duce risk of kid­ney fail­ure, we just need aware­ness and a change in our at­ti­tude to­wards health.

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