The kidneys are vital organs that make a fundamental contribution to the proper functioning and health of your body. They perform several vital functions, including filtering blood, releasing the hormones that facilitate nutrition, absorbing nutrients and minerals from food, and producing critical toxin-removing liquids. If your kidneys become damaged, your overall health and wellbeing will be significantly impacted. As such, you need to ensure you look after your kidneys at all times. Surprisingly, some everyday habits that you take for granted could be causing damage to your kidneys. Here are 10 things you should avoid.
10. Drinking insufficient water
It is imperative that you are sufficiently hydrated at all times. Drinking water plays a crucial role in flushing harmful toxins from your body and preventing you from developing conditions such as kidney stones or a UTI. It is recommended that men consume a minimum of 13 cups or 3 litres of water a day, while women should have at least 9 cups of 2.2 litres a day. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Drinking too much water can also cause damage to your body by over diluting the sodium and creating a condition known as hyponatremia. Drinking enough water will keep you away from the doctor’s office and from using your medical insurance too much.
9. Overusing Painkillers
You may regularly take some common painkillers, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), to ease pain and discomfort. However, many of these drugs can harm the kidneys and make any kidney disease you do have even worse. If you are regularly using painkillers, try to reduce your intake and make sure you never exceed the prescribed dosage.
8. Eating too much sugar
We all know that eating too much sugar is bad for your health and could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, but did you know it can also cause damage to your kidneys? If you do develop diabetes and are unable to adequately control it, you could cause significant damage to the blood vessels that are responsible for transporting nutrients to and from your kidneys. As such, your kidneys will be less effective at keeping your body free of toxins.
7. Consuming Too Much Salt
Consuming excessive salt can increase your blood pressure and, subsequently, cause damage to your kidneys. If you want to add a little flavor to your food, trying substituting the salt for herbs and spices. You may be unable to imagine enjoying food without a pinch of salt; however, you’ll be surprised by how quickly your taste buds adjust.
6. Failing to follow medical prescriptions
If you are prescribed any medications by your medical practitioners, ensure that you follow the instructions to the letter. It is imperative that you take medicine exactly as prescribed; otherwise, you could be risking causing damage to your kidneys. Many pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter drugs, can cause kidney damage if they are not taken properly. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security simply because you can purchase a given medicine at the drug store. Read and follow the instructions carefully.
5. Eating Processed Foods
Processed foods contain high amounts of sodium and phosphorus which, like salt, causes damage to your kidneys. It is for this reason that people who have developed kidney disease need to avoid or limit foods that contain phosphorus. Previous research has found that people who eat a lot of processed foods may be causing damage to their kidneys and bones. If you need some guidance to help you eat well, try following the DASH diet.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
It is imperative that you get a full night’s sleep as sleep is essential for your overall health, including that of your kidneys. The sleep-wake cycle regulates your kidneys and helps to coordinate their workload over each 24-hour period.
3. Resisting Nature’s Call
The average bladder is capable of holding around two cups of liquid over a period of 3-4 hours. If you need to use the bathroom but try and hold on, you are preventing your body from ridding itself of toxins. If resisting nature’s call is something you do on a regular basis, it can lead to a UTI or the development of kidney stones. Furthermore, trying to cross your legs to prevent using the toilet can cause significant damage to your pelvic floor muscles and make you incontinent.
2. Eating Too Much Meat
Animal protein creates a lot of acid in the blood that can lead to the development of acidosis, which is a kidney-damaging condition that emerges when your kidneys are not able to flush acid from the body fast enough. Meat is a valuable source of protein, which is needed for growth. However, make sure your meat consumption is adequately balanced with sufficient vegetables and fruit.
1. Not Tracking Your Blood Pressure
Kidney draws from the blood and blood vessels that form the cardiovascular system to remove toxins from your body and redistribute nutrients. If your blood pressure is high, this could indicate that there is an underlying issue with your cardiovascular system. The narrower the arteries become due to the presence of cholesterol and other toxins, the more at risk you are of kidney damage. If your organs are not functioning effectively, your kidneys will not get access to the nutrients and nourishment they need.