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5 health myths about our kidneys - what is really true?

Dr. med. Simone Rieder

Dr. med. Simone Rieder

June 26, 2023

reading time

3 min

Many health myths accompany us in everyday life - including myths about the kidneys and kidney disease. Our experts explain which assumptions are really true.

Myth #1: Kidney disease can be recognised by pain in the kidneys.

This statement is wrong in most cases. Pain is often only present if kidney stones or an infection, such as pyelonephritis, are present. Restricted kidney function is not painful in itself. Rarely, the kidneys can also cause pain if they "swell up" as part of an acute illness (with various causes).

Myth #2: Kidneys should be kept warm.

This myth is false. Our kidneys are well protected and well padded.

Myth #3: People with chronic kidney disease should drink plenty of fluids.

This assumption is also false. If kidney function is only slightly impaired, you can drink according to the feeling of thirst. Around 1.5 to 2 litres a day is generally recommended. However, if the kidney disease is advanced, the urine can sometimes no longer be excreted sufficiently and the amount drunk must therefore be limited. Otherwise, water can accumulate in the tissue or in the lungs and lead to leg swelling or shortness of breath.

Myth #4: Too much salt is harmful to our kidneys.

Yes, this statement is indirectly true, as salt is excreted by the kidneys. A high salt intake can lead to high blood pressure, which can damage the kidneys over time.

Myth #5: All kidney diseases are incurable.

This statement is partly true and partly false. Some kidney diseases cannot be cured, but can be slowed down and improved by various medications. Other kidney diseases can be treated with special medication and thus cured.

Portrait photo of Dr Simone Rieder

Dr. med. Simone Rieder

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