I always shudder a little when I get asked about kidneys. Because personally, if I had any persistent kidney pain, I’d go straight to my doctor.
Anyway, in my gout studies, I’ve learned a little bit about drinking water and kidneys.
First, it’s a mistake to think that only plain drinking water is important. There is water in everything we eat and drink. It’s used up all over the body. The kidneys try to regulate supply so there’s always enough for everything we need. But, that changes all the time. Temperature and activity change the amount of fluid we need. So, there’s never a fixed amount daily.
We should drink regularly throughout the day. Then, check urine color. It should be pale straw colored. Not completely clear, or too dark. If it’s too pale, it’s an indication that you are drinking too much. That can overstrain the kidneys.
The other important thing I’ve learned about kidneys is blood tests. Everyone should have kidney function tests at least once a year. That lets your doctor see what is usual for you. Then, if significant changes happen, your doctor can investigate. Tests are more important when you are lowering uric acid. It doesn’t matter which method you use. Allopurinol is most common. But all uric acid lowering treatment needs regular monitoring. That applies to herbal medicines and diet, just as much as drugs such as allopurinol, Uloric, or any others. Though I say at least once a year, at the start of treatment it should be once a month. Then, as uric acid stabilizes, you can extend the time between tests. Always insist on liver function and kidney function tests when you get uric acid tests.
Finally, coffee and milk are better than water at encouraging uric acid excretion. From a calorie point of view, skim milk is best. Plain water is still good. But, variety is much nicer.