Posted on Oct 21, 2019, 3 p.m.
Most people simply don’t drink enough water. To put it simply to promote better health drink more water. The key to kidney health is to drink more water, a study published in PLOS ONE strengthens this fact and has found that drinking more water may help to treat polycystic kidney disease.
Polycystic kidney disease is a chronic condition characterized by fluid filled cysts that damage healthy kidney tissues and function, it is the most common inherited cause of end stage kidney disease, and it left untreated it can cause other complications such as high blood pressure and heart problems.
Westmead Institution for Medical Research investigated whether increasing water intake could slow the progression of polycystic kidney disease by inducing the condition in rats, which were then treated with either high water intake or normal water intake.
Increasing water intake was found to reduce kidney enlargement which was accompanied by reductions in long term progression of cyst growth and kidney fibrosis. There were also some secondary benefits for some complications associated with polycystic kidney disease which included lowering high blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Moderate water intake increase was concluded to be a safe and effective treatment for polycystic kidney disease and its complications especially during its early stages based on their findings. However, as this study was conducted on animals the team notes that more studies with human participants are needed to confirm their results.
“Water is cheap and accessible, so the idea that it could be used as a treatment for PKD in the future is very exciting,” said Priyanka Sagar, lead researcher of the study.
General recommendation from drinking water is 8 glasses per day, but water needs can vary from person to person depending on age, climate, physical activity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and illness. The Institute of Medicine suggests that women need around 9.2 liters of fluid every day and men need around 3 liters per day.
For those with kidney failure or end stage kidney disease who don’t excrete enough water if any at all, who are receiving dialysis treatment, less is more, these people must restrict water intake.
Typically drinking too much water is highly unlikely for the average person. However, endurance athletes on the other hand may drink large amounts of water which can dilute the sodium blood level and lead to hyponatremia, which is a dangerous condition.
Have you ever gone to the toilet and you feel proud because your urine is very light, almost clear? Well you should be happy as urine colour can reveal a lot: light yellow or colourless means that you are drinking enough water or other healthy fluids, while dark yellow suggests that you may be dehydrated. The amount of urine that you excrete also tells you something as a healthy person normally produces about 1.5 liters or urine a day.
Making sure that you drink enough water will also help to prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections which can damage the kidneys. When there is enough water stones will form less easily because water prevents stone forming crystals from sticking together, and it promotes more urine which will help to flush out infection causing bacteria from the urinary tract.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.