10 Common Habits That Secretly Damage Your Kidneys
We’re fairly certain we don’t need to inform you that kidneys are very important for our health and general well-being. It only makes sense, since they have such a vital role to play in our bodies. Or perhaps the plural form would be more suitable here: vital roles.
They filter our blood, eliminate any nasty toxins, neutralize acids and even absorb minerals. The problem is that kidney damage can usually go unnoticed for years. This is because these powerful little organs can function with as little as 20 percent of their capacity!
So now you know why the term ‘silent diseases’ is used for diseases related to your kidneys. And we cannot stress enough how crucial it is to take good care of them before it is too late. So, we’d like to offer you a list of 10 bad habits which put a lot of strain on one’s kidneys.
1. Not Drinking Sufficient Amounts of Water
Kidneys need to be properly hydrated so that they can function without any issues. If you fail to drink the water which is necessary for your system each day, then that can lead to a toxin accumulation in your blood.
The reason is a lack of fluid for draining such toxins through your kidneys. Make sure to avoid this bad habit.
2. Postponing a Much-Needed Bathroom Break
The more you ignore the ‘call of nature’, the more strain you put on your kidneys (and your bladder too!). Regular urine retention most often leads to urine pressure and even possible kidney stones and kidney failure. Listen to your body and heed it when it needs to go.
3. Too Much Salt
While it’s true that one’s body needs sodium (salt) to function properly, there is indeed too much of a good thing. Consuming too much salt can have an adverse effect, not just by stressing out your kidneys but also raising your blood pressure.
The recommended daily dose of salt is no more than 5 grams. Try not to consume any more than that.
4. Get Rid of Any Sugar Cravings
Did you know that those who consume more than two sugar-filled drinks a day have much more of a chance to have protein in their urine? Trust us, that’s not a good thing, as protein in one’s urine usually represents an early indicator that something is not right with one’s kidneys.
A study conducted by the University in Japan only served to prove this. Too much sugary drinks (or sugar intake in general) leads to protein in one’s urine (Proteinuria), which may be an early sign of kidney disease. The good news is that, if it is discovered in time, it may be reversible.
5. Insufficient Sleep
Not only is proper sleep a major factor in everyone’s overall health, but also for the specific health of their kidneys. Were you aware that the tissue of your kidneys gets renewed during your slumber?
Which means that any interruptions in your sleep may result in kidney damage over time. Another good reason to get some sound sleep.
6. Too Much Animal Protein
Like we said, too much protein (especially from red meat and other animal products) is never good news for one’s kidneys.
The more you consume of it, the harder your kidneys have to work, as it increases the metabolic load on them. Such continuous hard work may eventually result in kidney dysfunction.
7. Alcohol Overconsumption
When consumed in large amounts, alcohol represents a toxin which puts a lot of stress, not just on the kidneys, but on the liver as well. Don’t get us wrong, consuming one glass of wine or beer once in a while is healthy – that fact remains. But overdoing it is certainly not.
8. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
You are surely aware that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is the #1 way of maintaining proper kidney and overall health. That’s why the risk of kidney stones goes up if one’s diet is lacking in these things. The same thing applies to kidney failure.
Vitamin B6 and magnesium are of particular importance when it comes to keeping any kidney stone formation at bay.
9. Painkiller Overuse
Many over-the-counter medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), while they may do their job in alleviating any aches or pains, may cause damage to your kidneys. This goes particularly for all of those who are already dealing with kidney disease.
Make sure never to take more than the recommended dosage and reduce your intake in general, opting instead for natural remedies. There are plenty of other alternatives out there for soothing any pain.
10. Quit Smoking
Were you expecting this? We bet you were. After all, you’ve heard of all the negative sides smoking can offer. So, if you happen to be a smoker, even one who rarely ever takes a puff, best to say goodbye to that awful habit as it’s dangerous for your kidneys too.
Once again, it may lead to Proteinuria. Be mindful of such bad habits and stay healthy, dear readers.