The kidneys play a very important role in the body and the overall health of any human being. Our kidneys help in excreting drugs and toxins from the body through the urinary tract in order to maintain good health. It is therefore very important to take care of these very important organs. But most people unknowingly cause harm to their kidneys through certain daily habits or actions.
The following are some of the ways you may be causing harm to your kidneys without even knowing it:
Consuming excess sugar, meat, or processed foods
Consumption of excess artificial sweeteners including fructose, sodas, and candies can cause harm to your kidneys. Excess sugar leads to obesity which increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity and high blood pressure are leading causes of kidney disease. You also need to avoid foods and drinks that contain much sugar even when they are not considered “sweet.” Added sugar may be found in breakfast cereals, condiments, and other packaged foods.
You should also be careful about how much meat you consume. Animal protein produces high amounts of acid in the blood that can result in a condition known as acidosis. This is a condition where the kidneys are not able to eliminate acids fast enough thereby causing harm to the kidneys. The protein contained in meat is important to the body but it is also important to maintain the right balance between proteins and other nutrients in the body hence the need for a balanced diet that also contains fruits and vegetables.
Consuming excess salt
High levels of sodium in the foods you consume can increase blood pressure and, in turn, cause damage to your kidneys. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor your food. When you do this over a period of time it will become easier for you to avoid adding salt (sodium) to your food. This will help you maintain healthy kidneys and overall health in the long run.
Smoking, aside from being harmful to your lungs and heart, may also harm your kidneys. The presence of protein in the urine of smokers is a sign of kidney damage. To protect your kidneys it is therefore important to kick that habit, there’s just too much at stake here. You may not even like the fact you smoke, so why not work to kill the habit.
Excess alcohol intake
Making a habit of drinking especially when it becomes heavy (usually more than four drinks a day) has been found to double the risk of chronic kidney disease. Combine that with smoking and the risk increases significantly.
Sitting still for long periods of time
Lack of physical activity resulting from sitting still for long stretches of time has been associated with kidney disease. Researchers have linked a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity with kidney health. How or why these affect the kidney is yet to be ascertained. But it is known that increased physical activity improves blood pressure and glucose metabolism both of which are important factors in maintaining kidney health.
Drinking enough water helps your kidneys do away with sodium and toxins from the body. Although those who have already developed kidney problems may need to reduce how much water they drink, most people require between 1.5 to 2 liters (3 to 4 pints) of water per day to maintain good health. Sufficient fluid intake is also one of the best ways to prevent painful kidney stones.
Excess use of painkillers
Even though pain medicines gotten over the counter like NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs) do alleviate your aches and pains, they can also harm the kidneys. And for those who already have kidney disease, it’s even worse. You, therefore, need to reduce your use of NSAIDS and limit yourself to the recommended dosage if you must use them. You may also need to undergo some detoxing therapy to get rid of accumulated toxins in your body. Also be on guard to prevent the use of drugs or foods that contain toxins that can cause harm to your kidneys.
The sleep-wake cycle also regulates kidney function. This helps to coordinate the kidney’s workload over every 24-hour period. Having a good night’s rest is therefore important for both your kidney function and your overall health and well-being. Denying yourself of sufficient sleep can cause several health issues including affecting your kidney health.