Kidneys are one of the vital body organs, as their function is to eliminate waste and toxins from the body through the urine.
Thus, they regulate the levels of minerals, such as calcium, and phosphate.
Additionally, kidneys regulate blood pressure as they produce essential hormones which are necessary for this function, as well as for the formation of red blood cells whose responsibility is to carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Therefore, it is of high importance to support the proper function of kidneys. If it is obstructed in some way, you may experience some of the following symptoms: vomiting, bad breath, changed urine in color and quality, dizziness, itchy skin, breathing issues, sudden pain, anemia, fatigue or tiredness, or feeling cold most of the time.
If you notice some of these warning signs, you should visit your doctor and check the situation.
10 Common Habits That May Harm Your Kidneys
Kidney issues may often be a result of different factors, but some of the following most common habits contribute to their damage as well:
1. Insufficient Intake of Water
Lack of water in the body may lead to significant kidney damage, as blood will get so concentrated that there the blood flow to the kidneys will be reduced.
In this way, the ability of kidneys to eliminate toxins from the body will be impeded, and as toxins accumulate in the body, the number of diseases and health issues will increase.
The recommended amount of water daily is at least 10-12 glasses in the case of an adult person. Yet, make sure you do not exaggerate as excessive amounts of water may harden the kidney function.
2. Delaying the Urge to Urinate
This is one of the most common causes of damage to the kidneys, as the urine remains in the bladder longer, as it supports the multiplication of bacteria in the urine.
These harmful bacteria cause urinary tract and kidney infections. Moreover, retaining the urine applies pressure to the kidneys and leads to renal failure and urinary incontinence. Hence, note that you should never postpone the urge to urinate.
Smoking is a really detrimental habit, which damages all body organs, including the kidneys. Numerous studies have found a link between smoking and kidney disease, and according to the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), smoking is the number one cause of ESRD (end-stage renal disease).
This bad habit raises blood pressure and the heart rate, and reduces the blood flow and narrows the blood vessels in kidneys. Moreover, it aggravated kidney diseases and accelerates the loss of the function of kidneys.
4. High Protein Diet
The consumption of excessive amounts of protein-based foods, such as red meat, increases the risk of kidney disease, as the function of these organs is to eliminate and metabolize nitrogenous wastes from the body, which are by-products of the digestion of protein.
The excessive consumption of protein chronically increases the glomerular pressure and hyperfiltration, thus raising the metabolic load of kidneys, and leading to the development of kidney issues.
Hence, you should limit the intake of red meat, and in the case of kidney issues, completely eliminate it from your diet, in order to prevent further complications.
5. High Intake of Salt
The regular use of high amounts of salt severely damages the kidneys and leads to various health problems.
To be more precise, kidneys metabolize even 95% of the sodium consumed through food, and in the case of excessive amounts of salt, kidneys need to work much harder to excrete it, and their function is reduced, and the body retains water. Water retention may increase the blood pressure and the risk of kidney disease.
Numerous studies suggest that the consumption of salt increases the amount of urinary protein, which contributes to the development of kidney disease. Note that all excess salt you intake causes harm to your body, especially to your kidneys, and a teaspoon contains around 6 grams.
6. Lack of Sleep
Numerous people ignore the importance of rest and sleep. However, a good night sleep of 6- 8 hours is essential for the body. The organ tissues renew during the sleep, so in the case of sleep deficiency, these processes will be stopped, leading to damage of body organs.
Numerous studies have shown that improper sleep leads to increased clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure, which elevated the chances for development of kidney diseases.
Hence, make sure you always find a perfect balance between work and sleep, rest and leisure and everyday tasks, as this has a major impact on your overall health, including your kidneys.
7. Regular Use of Analgesics
Numerous people use various painkillers, analgesics, and medications, to treat pain, reduce inflammation, and cure various issues. Yet, these drugs damage your kidneys, as well as other body organs.
Research has shown that over-the-counter analgesics can reduce the blood flow to the kidneys and obstruct their function. Thus, the long-term use of these drugs leads to chronic kidney diseases, such as acute kidney injury or interstitial nephritis.
Note that you should consult your doctor before using any of these drugs, and make sure you take analgesics shortly, as they can cause damage to the ones with normal kidney function as well.
8. Excessive amounts of Caffeine
Too much caffeine increases the blood pressure, and applied pressure to the kidneys, leading to kidney damage. According to a 2002 study published in Kidney International, the consumption of caffeine is directly linked to kidney stones, as caffeine increases the excretion of calcium in the urine.
Yet, moderate consumption of drinks like coffee or tea will not be harmful, but you should reduce the intake of energy drinks, chocolate, medications, cocoa, and soft drinks.
9. Too Much Alcohol
This toxin leads to stress on the kidneys and liver, and its excessive amounts lead to damage of the kidneys. If you drink alcohol a lot, the uric acid will be stored in the renal tubules, leading to the tubular obstruction which elevates the risk of kidney failure.
Additionally, alcohol dehydrates the body and thus destroys the normal function of the kidneys. The advised amount of alcohol a day is a glass for women and elder people, and 2 drinks for men.
10. Ignoring Common Infections
Kidney damage may also result by neglecting the existence of infections, such as coughs, colds, flu, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis. If you leave a common infection untreated, you may develop kidney damage, so you should always make sure you give a proper rest to the body, use antibiotics properly, and treat these issues on time.