Your kidneys are vital for the proper functioning of your entire body. They are responsible for the elimination of toxins from your blood and the waste material filtration through your urine. Moreover, they remove the excess water from your body, preserve it when they feel your body needs it and keep the mineral levels in balance. They also produce hormones, regulate your blood pressure and take part in the production of red blood cells.
All of these functions make them an essential part of your body and one you cannot do without. That’s why you need to take good care of them and enable them to perform their tasks at optimal level. If you don’t you could be facing kidney failure and serious health problems. If you have some of the following symptoms you might be dealing with kidney problems: itchy skin, you feel cold constantly, dizziness, changes in urine color and quantity, vomiting, bad breath, chronic fatigue, anemia, breathing difficulties and so on.
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above you should consult with your doctor and see if your kidneys are fully operational and functioning correctly. You might need to change some habits to preserve their health and help them recover.
But what are the habits that damage our kidneys’ health? There are many things we do unintentionally that damage our overall health but here are the top 10 things you should avoid if you want to have healthy kidneys:
- Low water consumption
Not drinking enough water can be detrimental for your kidneys’ health so you need to drink plenty of water to keep them healthy. Water is vital because it dilutes your blood, the lack of water in your body leads to concentrated blood which means there won’t be enough blood for your kidneys to operate at optimal level.
Doctors recommend 10-12 glasses of water a day minimum. This amount is required to keep your kidneys health and your entire organism functional.
- Waiting too long to urinate
This is a very common mistake we all make but can have devastating effects on your kidneys. Not emptying your bladder in time causes your urine to stay in there for a longer time, allowing the bacteria to multiply and lead to UTIs or kidney infections. This habit can also lead to incontinence and renal failure so whenever you feel to urge to urinate don’t postpone it, listen to your bladder and go!
- Consuming too much salt
Here’s another habit that’s too common, especially in the USA. Excessive amounts of salt can damage the kidneys because 95% of the sodium that enters our body goes through the kidneys. Too much salt will make the kidneys work harder to eliminate the extra, making them unable to perform their other functions properly. This can lead to water retention which in turn can lead to hypertension and kidney failure.
Mind your salt intake and keep it to a maximum of 5 grams per day (less than a teaspoon). Any amount higher than this can lead to kidney problems.
- Diet rich in proteins
Proteins can also be problematic for the kidneys, so a diet rich in protein isn’t recommended. If you want to keep your kidneys healthy limit the amount of food high in proteins. Why do proteins have a negative effect on the kidneys? Well, a high amount of proteins in your system can increase the hyper filtration and glomerular pressure, adding an excessive load on the kidneys and leading to an increased risk of kidney problems.
For those already suffering from kidney problems it’s recommended that they stop the consumption of red meat entirely!
- Regular use of analgesics
We’re used to taking painkillers and analgesic on a regular basis, whenever we feel like the pain is too much to handle or we’re faced with some inflammation. However, this habit can wreak havoc on the kidneys and should be eliminated. Studies have shown that excessive use of analgesics can interfere with the kidney’s function and limit the blood flow to them. Long term use of analgesics is known to cause chronic kidney diseases or acute kidney injuries.
Patients who’re suffering from reduced kidney function are advised to see a doctor whenever they need to take painkillers because otherwise they can damage their kidneys even more.
- Drinking too much alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol
Excessive use of alcohol is bad for your entire body but it especially damages the kidneys and the liver. Alcohol is a toxin which increases the stress on these vital organs, so you need to consume it in moderation.
Excessive consumption of alcohol will cause the uric acid to stay in your renal tubules longer, which can lead to tubular obstruction and increase your risk of renal failure. Alcohol is also known to cause dehydration which can interfere with the kidneys’ normal function. Everything above the recommended daily dose, which is 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women and older people can be health detrimental.
Smoking is one of the worst habits for your overall health, not just your kidneys, and we are all very well aware of it. Many studies have shown that there is a direct link between smoking and kidney disease. The American Association of Kidney Patients says that smoking is the leading reason for the onset of end stage renal disease.
Smoking can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased blood flow and narrowed blood vessels. The best thing you can do for your entire body is stop smoking immediately!
- Insufficient sleep
The importance of a good night sleep is underestimated by many but the lack of it can lead to a number of health problems. Our busy lifestyle often doesn’t allow us to sleep at least 7-8 hours a night but this habit is extremely health-detrimental. When we sleep our tissues regenerate and renew so if we don’t sleep enough there won’t be enough time for this process, leading to damaged organs, including the kidneys.
- Consuming too much caffeine
If you drink too much coffee or caffeinated drinks you increase your chances for hypertension and put pressure on your kidneys. Prolonged excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to kidney damage. According to the study done by Kidney International back in 2002 caffeine consumption is directly linked to kidney stones.
Moderate consumption of caffeine won’t cause kidney problems, 2-3 cups of coffee or tea is fine, but make sure you don’t drink too much if you want to have healthy kidneys.
- Not paying attention to common infections
If you ignore your cold, tonsillitis, flu, or other mild infections you put your kidneys at risk. People dealing with kidney problems have said to not care much when they get sick, don’t rest or don’t take any therapy to get better; instead they waited for the infection to pass on its own. If the infection is left untreated, the virus or bacteria you’re dealing with can cause kidney damage. So make sure you treat every infection, as mild as it is, properly and in due time. Take your prescribed therapy and rest to recharge your body.
Article and image source: www.organichealthteam.com