Open Accessibility Menu

Hendrick Health physician shares tips for healthy kidneys

Hendrick Health physician shares tips for healthy kidneys

The two leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, but everyone should take steps to ensure the kidneys function properly, said Dr. Iheanyichukwu Ogu, nephrologist with Hendrick Clinic.

“Because kidneys are very vital organs in the body, taking care of your kidneys is absolutely important to generally keeping you in a good state of health,” said Ogu.

With March being National Kidney Month, he offered five tips to promote healthy kidneys:

  • Stay active and fit to maintain a good body weight.
  • Follow a healthy, low-salt diet.
  • Check blood pressure because a high level can adversely affect kidney function.
  • Manage quickly diabetes and/or high blood pressure if present.
  • Avoid indiscriminate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, which can harm the kidneys over time.

Also important is drinking plenty of water. Ogu said a frequent question from patients is how much water is plenty?

“The answer is not one size fits all,” he said.

In general, healthy people should drink 64 ounces of water daily. However, physicians alter the recommended level for patients with underlying medical conditions, such as diseases of the heart, liver or kidneys, said Ogu.

An annual physical that includes a blood and/or urine test is important to monitor kidney function because early stages of kidney disease usually do not manifest obvious symptoms. And, the symptoms for advanced stages are similar for other conditions, said Ogu.

To find a doctor or other healthcare provider, visit and click on “Find a Provider.”