Take care of your kidneys, expert urge


More than 850 million people worldwide suffer from kidney disease.  Kidney Awareness Week aims to create awareness on the vital role kidneys play.

According to the National Kidney Foundation of South Africa, kidney failure is mainly due to inherited hypertension or Type 2 diabetes.

The foundation likened kidney function to a huge swimming-pool filter which never needs backwashing, and which will rarely need an overhaul if you look after your health.

Healthy kidneys produce important hormones that regulate bodily functions. Certain lifestyle habits, foods and over-the-counter medication can damage the kidneys.

The common kidney diseases are diabetic kidney disease, IgA nephropathy disease (Berger’s disease), polycystic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis and kidney stones.

Pharmacist and diet pioneer Gert Coetzee has compiled some tips to ensure good kidney health.

He said the main thing to avoid was junk food. He further advised people to cut down on red meat, lose weight, stock up on greens and to choose fats wisely.

To keep a healthy kidney lifestyle, the National Kidney Foundation of South Africa urges people to quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, drink lot of water, have a nutrition plan and exercise.