The kidney is a vital organ in your body filtering through over 200 litres of fluid every day to remove toxins from your bloodstream and keep you alive. Being the ultimate filter of toxins for your blood, your kidneys need to be nourished and tended to just like the other vital organs in your body. The first step to keeping your kidneys healthy is eating a balanced diet and hydrating properly. Most people rarely care much about kidney health until they have to go to the hospital for one problem or another; most of which can be avoided if they avoided these 10 habits.
Eating too much salt
Excessive consumption of salt is the main cause of renal diseases that kill millions of people every year. It comes down to abusing the salt shaker sometimes, so whenever you can, please flavour your foods with toppings and spices and less of salt. You should also avoid processed, canned and other junk foods that are infused with excessive amounts of salt and other sodium compounds that are not good for your kidneys. You should eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts as well as other fresh foods that don’t require any salting and which give you minerals that cancel out your salt intake.
Taking Too Many Painkillers
All the medicines you take have to be washed out of your body and more than 90% of them have to be washed out through your kidneys and come out as urine. Pain medication specifically inhibits the amount of blood that flows to your kidneys hence causing them to be hurt in the long term. Prolonged use of painkillers is directly linked to chronic kidney diseases because the chemicals overwork your kidneys in the long run. Prolonged abuse of painkillers can result in irreversible kidney diseases.
Not Hydrating Enough
You need two to three litres of water per day to keep your body hydrated and your kidneys working properly. Many people rarely take the recommended daily quantities of water leading to strained kidney function as the kidneys need water to dissolve sodium toxins and rid them from your body. Lack of sufficient hydration can cause kidney stones and other severe forms of kidney diseases so just drink that H2O.
Eating Too Many Proteins
When you eat meat and other protein-rich foods like nuts, the proteins release acid into your blood which the kidneys have to wash out. Too much protein intake leads to increased acid levels in the blood which cause a condition called acidosis where your kidneys cannot get rid of acid from your blood as fast as your body needs. Balancing your diet with fruits and vegetables will help reduce the chances of this happening.
Excessive consumption of alcohol is bad for your health in many ways as it hurts almost all your major organs including the brain, the liver, the heart and most importantly, your kidneys. Firstly, alcohol causes the release of a hormone that causes kidneys to remove too much water from your bloodstream resulting in dehydration which is a risk on its own. Alcohol also interferes with other bodily functions including the release of other hormones that regulated kidney function making it hard for your kidneys to work which is why heavy drinkers have very high chances of contracting kidney disease.
While smoking is mostly associated with negative effects on the lungs, it hurts lots of other bodily functions and your heart, liver and kidneys are not spared. Smoking damage to your heart and vessels reducing the amount of blood flowing to your kidneys which causes kidney disease. Smoking is also associated with an increase in the severity of diabetic kidney disease which is why people suffering from diabetes should refrain from smoking.
Consuming Lots Of Sugar
Many people wonder how consuming high amounts of sugar can affect kidneys but the risk is very much real. Excess sugar in your body leads to build up in your vessels causing narrowing that results in less blood reaching the kidneys. With less reduced blood supply, kidney functions are inhibited causing some proteins and other larger particles to go through the filters and that can cause damage over time. Excessive sugar consumption also overworks your kidney which has to reabsorb it back into your blood during filtration.
Holding It In For Too Long
The kidney filters excess salt, water and other toxins into your bladder and when it is full, you have to go take a pee so that there is space for more toxins to be released. If you hold it in for too long, you can cause the kidney to retain toxic substances for long which can lead to infection. Holding back urine for a long can also cause infection in your urinary tract.
Lack Of Exercise
More and more people now lead sedentary lifestyles where they have to sit for over 7 hours in a day with little to exercise. Exercise helps regulate your blood pressure which is good for the blood flow to your kidney. Lack of exercise also lowers your blood pressure affecting the ability of your kidneys to filter blood effectively. Sweating is another mechanism through which your body expels excessive salt and other toxic substances meaning if you don’t exercise, your kidney have to retain more of them.
Lack Of Sufficient Sleep
Sleep is one of the vital things your entire body system needs to rejuvenate itself and work better and that includes your kidneys. Your kidney works in cycles that respond to your sleep and wake patterns. Lack of sufficient sleep increases your risk of suffering from chronic kidney disease because of overworking or disruption of your kidney cycles.