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Neti pot, kidney failure

Created date

February 26th, 2013
Neti pot

Q. I have sinus trouble and want to try rinsing them with a neti pot. Are these devices safe to use?

A. Neti pots have become popular for a number of things, including treating colds, allergies, and sinus congestion. But according to the FDA, there is some concern about the risk of infection with their use—especially if they are not properly cleaned. There have also been reports of serious infections in people who use tap water (instead of sterile saline or distilled water) as a rinsing agent. Some tap water sources contain organisms that are not harmful if swallowed, but can thrive in your nasal passages.

The FDA has also found that instructions included with these devices can be inconsistent or misleading. So before trying a neti pot, talk to your doctor about other solutions for your sinus problems. If, however, you decide to use one, have your doctor review the instructions with you and always clean it thoroughly after each use.

Q. I was just diagnosed with early kidney failure. Is there anything I can do to prevent my kidneys from failing completely?

A. High blood pressure and diabetes are the main culprits when it comes to damaging your kidneys, so treatment for early kidney failure depends largely on treating the underlying cause. Lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in preventing or postponing kidney failure. Be sure to eat healthy foods, stay active, take all prescribed medications, and see your doctor and relevant specialists regularly. Depending on how well their kidneys are functioning, some people are prescribed special diets—such as low-salt or moderate-protein. Seeing a dietitian can help you plan out your meals and help you stay on track.

Leslie Rigali, D.O. 

Medical Director, Village

Peabody, Mass.

Dr. Rigali received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., and her degree in osteopathic medicine from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Carney Hospital in Boston. Rigali is board certified in internal medicine. She joined Brooksby in October 2006.