Sat, Sep 26, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Bad kidney function linked to week-long instant noodle binge

By Lee Chung-hsien and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Taichung doctor yesterday warned the public against binging on instant noodles, as the seasoning sachets in noodle packets can contain excessive salt and affect normal kidney function.

Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital nephrology and internal medicine doctor Chen Chih-tsung (陳志聰) issued the warning, citing a case in which two of his patients — an elderly married couple in their 70s, who previously had their stage four and stage five chronic kidney disease (CKD) under control — suddenly experienced a deterioration in their kidney function.

Chen said the male patient’s condition worsened from having 10 percent of his kidney function to 8.4 percent, and the female patient’s dropped from 21 percent to 15 percent, adding that the deterioration in his patients’ conditions had left him “dumbfounded.”

The couple, surnamed Lin (林), were quoted by Chen as saying that they had purchased two crates of instant noodles to use as offerings during Ghost Festival, and not wishing to throw the noodles away, the couple prepared and consumed them over a seven-day period.

The result of the seven-day noodle binge is that the couple, whose conditions were severe, but manageable, might require dialysis, Chen said, adding that the couple had “sworn off” instant noodles.

Chen said he would like to remind people with CKD to remember the dietary rule of “three lows and one high” — to eat a diet low in fats, salts and sugars, but high in fiber.

He said as many as one-third of all CKD patients who experienced poor kidney function around Ghost Festival can probably link their condition to instant noodles.

Recommended sodium intake for a normal adult is no more than six grams per day. A single serving of instant noodles contains on average 2.5 grams of sodium, Chen said.

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