Kidneys play an essential role in the body as they perform some of the key functions for the body’s health. They release hormones that give nutrients, filter the blood, absorb minerals from food, and produce the liquid that expels toxins from the body.
Cleveland Clinic has found that the kidneys can still function at 30% capacity, but if you allow them to get somehow damaged, this could result in stern repercussions for your welfare.
Below we’ve listed ten habits you should steer clear of in order to maintain an optimum kidney health.
1. You don’t consume enough water
It is crucial to keep your body constantly hydrated in order to retain an optimal organ function. Water helps expel toxins from your body, making it easier for the kidneys to cleanse your system. Drinking water often also lowers the risk of developing UTI and kidney stones.
There isn’t a precise number of how much water you should be drinking a day, since it is never enough.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, men require about 13 cups a day (or three liters), while women about 2.2 liters, which adds up to nine cups a day.
2. Your diet includes foods packed with sodium
If the food you’re consuming on a regular basis is high in sodium, perhaps a change in your diet is due. If your kidneys have trouble expelling this ingredient from your body it could result in high blood pressure, as well as swelling of the hands, ankles, and feet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asserts that the daily value for sodium intake is 2,300 milligrams.
However, it is easy to go beyond the recommended amount since most foods we consume contain sodium, regardless of whether they are home cooked meals, canned or processed foods, or restaurant food.
3. You withhold your need to pee
When you refuse to go to the bathroom to relieve yourself, you do not allow your body to relieve itself of toxins, and if this grows into a habit, it could result in detrimental effects for your kidneys.
This may lead to a urinary tract infection that will make urinating quite painful and unbearable you might even notice blood in your urine.
Refusing to pee can also harm your pelvic floor muscles that may lead to urinary incontinence. It may also lead to the creation of kidney stones in your system and require surgery to eject them from your body.
Moreover, if feel like your bladder is full although you’ve recently peed, it is perhaps high time to do a check-up.
4. High Protein Diet
Consumption of food packed with protein, such as red meat, can lead to kidney disease. The kidneys metabolize and eliminate nitrogenous elements from the body, which are a side-effect of excessive protein intake.
Immoderate intake of protein chronically increases the glomerular pressure and hyper filtration, which in turn increases the metabolic load of kidneys, which in turn may cause serious kidney problems.
So, we advise you to cut down on the meat consumption, and we promise it will be in your best interest. Too much intake of red meat in those who already have kidney problems can only serve to exacerbate their condition.
5. You cannot seem to steer clear of sweets and desserts
No matter how hard you try, you just cannot keep away from sweets. And that’s okay, as long as it’s with moderation. But consuming too much sugar can damage your kidneys or even lead to type 2 diabetes.
Also, don’t see artificial sweeteners as an alternative. A research by the Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology found that people who overuse artificial sweeteners are at greater risk of kidney failure.
Sugar can spill over your urine if you have excess of it due to diabetes, and if you fail to control this disease it can harm your blood vessels that the kidney needs to filter and transmit nutrients.
6. You overlook high blood pressure
According to a study in the BMJ Journals, high blood pressure has been linked to hypertension as the kidneys use up much of the blood and blood vessels from your cardiovascular system to expel toxins and distribute nutrients.
A high blood pressure is often a sign that there’s something wrong with your cardiovascular system, and the narrower, more clogged, or hardened your arteries become by cholesterol and other toxins, the likelier the chance for kidney damage.
If your family has a history of high blood pressure or hypertension, be sure to always check your blood pressure to lower the risk of kidney damage, but also reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
7. You are failing to closely follow medical prescriptions
Always stick to what doctors prescribe you so you would avoid using unnecessary medications that can be detrimental for your kidney health. A number of medications have as a side effect damaging effects on the kidneys.
And do not take over-the-counter medications lightly. Just because they are easily accessible doesn’t make them any less dangerous for your health, if consumed excessively, that is.
8. You are a heavy drinker and/or smoker
You will only make it harder for your kidneys to eject detrimental substances if you consume toxic chemicals and ingredients that come from drinking alcohol and smoking cigars. Most people tend to forget the high cost at which these vices come.
You may enjoy drinking occasionally and moderately, but if you are a heavy drinker or smoker, this might damage your kidneys to a great extent.
Kidneys are necessary for regulating your bodily fluids, and alcohol makes this harder for the kidneys as it causes dehydration. It can also lead to a high blood pressure, forcing your kidneys to work more than they should.
Smoking, on the other hand, infamously increases the risk of lung cancer, lung diseases, pancreatic cancer, and heart diseases.
In addition, it can cause high blood pressure which will affect the kidney. Smoking can also impede the flow of nutrients in the organs and weaken the kidney’s function.
9. You take too much caffeine
As you might’ve already detected, whenever high blood pressure’s involved, the kidneys are bound to become affected, and consuming excessive amounts of caffeine will almost surely lead to increased blood pressure and impair the function of your kidneys.
According to a 2002 study by Kidney International, the immoderate consumption of caffeine has been linked to the creation of kidney stones.
As long as it’s moderate, caffeine intake won’t cause you any headaches, and drinking up to 3 cups of tea, and 1 or 2 cups of coffee per day is sufficient. Just keep in mind that drinks like cocoa, energy or soft drinks, chocolate, and some medications also contain caffeine, so limit their consumption as much as possible.
10. Lack of Sleep
With the hectic lifestyles lead nowadays, we often forget just how important a good night’s sleep is for the body. For a person to remain healthy and function properly, they would need a good 6 to 8 hours of sleep.
The organ tissues regenerate while sleeping, and if you don’t get enough rest you will hinder this process, which may damage some of your organs, your kidneys included.
A number of studies have concluded that lack of sleep can cause atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) and, wait for it, high blood pressure which, in turn, can harm the kidneys, so make sure you adopt proper sleeping habits for your overall well-being.