Advertorial: How important is it to stay hydrated for your kidney health?

Do you make it to the end of the day and realize the only thing you had to drink during suhur was a cup of coffee or a sweet juice?

It is easy to forget to provide your body with the necessary water requirements, particularly during Ramadan.

Dehydration is a common health concern that occurs due to fasting and the importance of water may be overlooked due to the emphasis we place on what we eat. Especially in the warm humid climate that we experience in the Maldives, it is important to maintain proper hydration when we are observing fasting. Dehydration may cause headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, constipation, poor blood circulation etc. 

It is important to consume adequate water during non-fasting hours to reduce the risk of dehydration and other possible health concerns such as kidney diseases. Mild dehydration will cause you to feel tired and impair normal body functions. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage. Dehydration can cause a build-up of wastes and acids in the body, and it can clog the kidneys with muscle proteins (myoglobin).

One of the reasons why kidney diseases such as swelling of kidneys, forming of kidney stones, kidney failure and CKD occur is due to the lack of fluid intake. Hence, the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water even when you are not fasting is essential.

Importance of hydration for your kidneys

Drinking water helps to remove wastes from your blood in the form of urine and helps to keep blood vessels clean so nutrients to reach the kidney.

Dehydration can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones and urinary tract infections, both of which can lead to kidney damage if not treated quickly. It is likely for kidney stones to form when you do not have enough water

The color of our urine can be a good indicator of whether or not we are getting enough fluids. If it's a very dark yellow, it indicates that we need more water. However, if it is always very dark, consult with your doctor to see if something, is changing the color of your urine rather than your hydration status.

If you have kidney failure or poor kidney function, you may need to limit your fluid and water intake. All questions and concerns about dehydration and water intake should be addressed with your doctor.

A patient is screened for chronic kidney disease at Tree Top Hospital. (Photo/Tree Top Hospital)

How to keep hydrated during Ramadan

  • When breaking fast drink at least two glasses of water
  • An adult should at least consume 1.5 liters of water
  • Do not drink the required limit at once, this will pressure the kidneys
  • Warm water is preferable to be consumed rather than cold water
  • Avoid drinking fizzy drinks/caffeinated when opening fast. Sugary drinks do not quench thirst rather it increases thirst
  • Avoid spicy and salty food – excessive spice and salty food can increase thirst
  • Eat more fruit that contains water such as watermelon, pineapple, orange etc.

Other recommended drinks to consume for water intake include milk based drinks, soups, fresh fruits and vegetable juice. 

Contrary to popular belief fasting during Ramadan does not impair kidney functions and even leads to moderate improvement in kidney functions. However, for those who have kidney diseases such as CKD it is important to be careful during fasting. For people who have CKD, Dr Manar Karam, Family medicine specialist advises to follow the following guidelines during Ramadan.

It is advised to break your fast if plasma creatinine increases by 30% above baseline, or symptoms occur due to serum potassium and sodium changes.

When breaking the fast, avoiding high-potassium and phosphorous foods is recommended and a high intake of water should be advised.

Fasting among patients on dialysis is tolerated but it is not associated with significant morbidity or mortality, although changes in electrolytes need careful monitoring.

It is encouraged to drink plenty of fluids during the non-fasting period depending on fluid status.

Tree Top Hospital offers a package for chronic kidney disease screening. (Photo/Tree Top Hospital)

Chronic Kidney disease screening is recommended for individuals with diabetes, obesity, hypertension or any family history of kidney diseases. Tree Top Hospital offers CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) Screening packages.

The investigations covered in this package included are mentioned below and the total price for the package is MVR 150.

  • Blood pressure check
  • Urine dipstick test
  • Creatinine test
  • Report review

Early detection will allow the proper management that will assist to slow CKD progression.

For more information, please contact 3351610 or email [email protected].