The kidneys perform many important functions for the health of the body. They filter your blood, release hormones that provide nutrients, absorb the minerals in your food and the supplements you take and produce the fluid that removes toxins from your body.
Decline or kidney damage may not occur immediately. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, your kidneys can still function at a 30% capacity. However, kidney damage can have serious consequences for your health. These are some habits that you must observe or stop doing completely to avoid additional damage to the kidneys.
1. You are not drinking water enough
Keeping your body hydrated is important for the functions of your organs, especially the kidneys.
- Water helps flush the toxins from your body, thus making it easier for the kidneys to clean your system.
- You lessen your risks of developing UTI and kidney stones when you drink water regularly.
- There is no magic number to how many glasses of water you should drink in a day. According to the National Kidney Foundation, men need at least three liters or about 13 cups of water daily. Women, on the other hand, need 2.2 liters or about nine cups every day.
- However, it isn’t good to drink too much water. Athletes, for instance, may be in danger of overdiluting the sodium in their blood and develop a health problem called hyponatremia.
If you have kidney problems, you may also need to adjust your water intake.
2. You’re not following medical prescriptions to the letter
You should always follow the exact prescription of the medications you should take. You should stick to what doctors have prescribed to avoid damaging your kidneys.
Many medications have adverse effects on the kidneys. Then, if the doctor has given you a specific term, stick to it. Never try to make changes without consulting a doctor.
Even over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, are harmful to the kidneys if taken daily. Do not assume that, since it is easy to buy at the pharmacy, it is less powerful or less dangerous to your health.
3. You like to eat foods that are high in sodium
If you like high-sodium foods, a change in your diet may be appropriate. If your kidney can not properly evacuate this ingredient from your body, you can develop high blood pressure with swelling of your hands, feet and ankles.
Before refrigerators were invented, people learned how to salt foods to keep them cool. Today, however, chefs use salt to make food tasty because people are so accustomed to their tastes.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily intake of sodium is 2,300 milligrams. But it is easy to go beyond this recommendation, since many of the foods you eat contain sodium, whether they are cooked at home, in the restaurant, packaged, canned or processed.
The American Heart Association found in one study that at least a third of adults thought their sodium intake was less than 2,000 mg per day. The agency recommends eating more fruits or vegetables and limiting sugary drinks because they also contain a lot of sodium.
4. You’re not aware of your blood pressure
If you have never observed your blood pressure before, it is time to adopt this habit now. A study in the journal BMJ Journals found a link between kidney damage and hypertension. In fact, the kidney uses the blood and blood vessels of the cardiovascular system to filter toxins and distribute nutrients.
High blood pressure is usually an indication that something is wrong with your cardiovascular system. As the arteries become narrow, blocked or hardened by cholesterol and other toxins, the risk of kidney damage is high. When your organs do not work well, the tissues of your kidneys do not receive the necessary nutrition.
If you have a history of high blood pressure in your family, be sure to check your blood pressure first. In this way, not only prevents kidney damage, but also limits the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack and enjoy a more positive lifestyle.
5. You hold your need to pee
In general, a bladder can hold up to two cups of fluid for three to four hours. But some people may have more difficulty urinating in public restrooms, so they stay longer.
- When you ignore nature’s call and delay going to the bathroom to relieve yourself, you’re not allowing your body to flush the toxins. If you make this into a habit, it could have unhealthy effects.
- You could expose yourself to urinary tract infection (UTI) that will make peeing uncomfortable and even painful. If this occurs, you might find blood in your urine or the liquid could be cloudy with an unusual odor or color.
- You could also damage your pelvic floor muscles that may result in urinary incontinence. Another risk is that of developing kidney stones that might require surgery in some cases.
If you discover that your bladder feels full all the time, even if you have already urinated, it may be time to do a check to eliminate any underlying conditions. If you are training, also include pelvic floor exercises in your routines to withstand toilet flushes without affecting your health.
6. You love your desserts and sweets
Are you a gourmet that only needs to have desserts all the time? The consumption of excessive amounts of sugar can not only lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, but also to kidney damage
Sugar can be spread in the urine if it has too much due to diabetes. If you can not control this disease, diabetes can damage the blood vessels used by the kidney to filter and transport nutrients. As a result, it becomes less effective to cleanse your body system.
Taking artificial sweeteners will not help with the problems. According to a study conducted by the Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology, people who use excessive artificial sweeteners increase the risk of kidney disease by two times. It should not be stressed enough so that, when it comes to food consumption, everything is done in moderation, even with the ingredients that are supposed to be the healthiest option.
7. You drink and smoke
It will be harder for the kidneys to filter out harmful substances when they ingest toxic chemicals and alcohol ingredients or smoke cigarettes. Many people take advantage of these vices without realizing their serious impact on the body.
You could enjoy the occasional drink safely. However, according to a study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it is not healthy for the kidneys if you are a heavy drinker, an excessive drinker or a chronic drinker.
- Alcohol causes dehydration that challenges your kidney’s ability to balance your bodily fluids.
- Alcohol also raises your blood pressure, thus putting your kidneys to work even more than it’s supposed to do.
- Beer or wine also disrupts the hormones that control kidney function.
Meanwhile, experts slowly learn to understand the effects of smoking on the kidneys. This defect is generally known to increase the risk of lung cancer, lung disease, heart disease and pancreatic cancer. It is less known that smoking has an impact on the kidneys because it can cause high blood pressure. Smoking also blocks the proper flow of nutrients in the organs, which affects the functioning of the kidney.
8. You eat a lot of red meat
If you like to eat red meat regularly in your diet, it also makes your kidneys susceptible to damage. Sources of meat or animal proteins contain toxins such as ammonia and nitrogen. If you consume them frequently in your diet, your kidneys will be saturated, as they will try to filter the toxins. Excessive work in the kidneys can cause kidney damage.
Doctors suggest replacing their diet with herbal protein sources because red meat can be very unhealthy and can cause cancer. If this is not possible, choose other alternatives to rich proteins, such as fish, shellfish and, in some cases, poultry.
It is important to keep in mind that even if the pig turns white when cooked, it is still considered red meat. People who consume too much red meat have an increased risk of kidney failure by 40% compared to those who occasionally consume this food.
9. You don’t exercise and sit for long hours
Not exercising and sitting for long hours has been associated with many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks and cancer. But now experts say it is 30% more likely to have kidney disease if you sit more than eight hours and never exercise.
In fact, one in 10 adults in the United States suffers from kidney problems due to lack of physical activity. When you exercise, you contribute to your body’s circulation and your blood pressure. In addition, you keep fit and maintain an ideal weight.
Exercise also keeps your cardiovascular muscles in good working order, which will be beneficial for kidney function.
10. You’re not sleeping well
The dream allows your body to renew itself. In order for your organs to function constantly, your kidneys need sleep so they can heal too. If you are sleep deprived, your body can not recover from stress and fatigue.
Lack of sleep also increases your blood pressure, which can affect the functions of your kidneys. Therefore, it is always important to have an optimal sleep every night.