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

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 check-ups 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

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