Probably you know that the kidneys are very important organs in the body because they detoxify the blood and aid the filtration of waste material through the urine. Also, their most important functions are removing excess water from your body and retaining it when is needed. The kidneys regulate the levels of calcium, phosphate, and many other minerals in your body.
They regulate the blood pressure, produce hormones needed for the function, and also in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen and important nutrients throughout the body.
You can see that the kidneys have many important functions, so it is important that we keep them functioning perfectly. General symptoms of kidney illnesses include: dizziness, vomiting, changed color and quantity of your urine, anemia, breathing problems, bad breath, tiredness, fatigue, sudden body pain, feeling cold very often, and itchy skin.
If you have some of these symptoms you should visit your doctor. The problems with the kidneys can be caused by many reasons, but people have many habits that can damage the kidneys.
Today we will show you 10 common habits that may damage your kidneys:
1. Postponing The Urge To Urinate
One of the main reasons of kidney damage is not emptying the bladder on time. When you do this, the urine will stay in your bladder for a longer period, permitting multiplying of the bacteria in the urine. These bacteria are able to lead to urinary tract or kidney infection. The retaining of the urine can cause renal failure and urinary incontinence because it increases the kidney pressure.
If you delay the urge to urinate, now it is time to change that.
2. Insufficient Water Intake
The kidneys can be damaged if you don’t drink water. If the body lacks water, the blood will become concentrated, and there will be less blood flow to your kidneys. This obstructs the kidneys’ ability to remove the toxins from the body, and if you have toxins in your body, you will have more health issues.
The recommended amount of fluid in a day is 10-12 glasses minimum. In this way, your body will be hydrated and your kidneys healthy. But, don’t drink too much water because it can harden the function of your kidneys.
3. High Intake of Salt
If you consume too much salt regularly, that habit can lead to a kidney damage and some other health problems. 95 percent of the sodium that is consumed through the food is metabolized by the kidneys. If you eat too much salt, the kidneys will have to work harder to remove the excess salt. This situation can reduce the function of the kidneys, and that can lead to retention of water in the body. The retention of water can increase your blood pressure and the risk of kidney disease.
Some studies say that the intake of salt can raise the quantity of urinary protein, and that is another risk for some kidney disease. Every amount that is higher than five grams per day is harmful to your health and your kidneys. 1 teaspoon of salt is about 6 grams.
4. Regular use of analgesics
Many people usually take over-the-counter painkillers or analgesics, in order to lower the fever and inflammation and to control the pain. But, this habit can damage your kidneys or some other organs. According to one research, the analgesics can worsen the function of the kidneys and decrease the blood flow to them. The heavy use or long-term use of analgesics can cause interstitial nephritis (a chronic kidney disease) or acute kidney injury.
Those people who have reduced the function of the kidneys have to consult the doctors before taking painkillers. The analgesics have to be taken for the shortest time possible and at the lowest dose, even for those people that have normal function of the kidneys.
5. High Protein Diet
The excessive intake of the protein-based foods (red meat) can raise the risk of any kidney disease. The kidneys have an important role to metabolize and remove the nitrogenous wastes from your body, and they are the by-products of protein digestion. The high intake of the protein raises the hyperfiltration and glomerular pressure because increasing the metabolic load of the kidneys that increases the risk of some kidney problems.
So, you have to limit the consumption of red meat, and those people who already have some kidney issues have to immediately stop the consumption of red meat because it can cause some other problem.
6. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
The alcohol is a toxin that can cause a lot of stress on your kidneys and liver. That is the reason why drinking too much alcohol can lead to kidney damage, so you have to try to drink in moderation.
If you drink too much alcohol, the uric acid will be kept in your renal tubules, and that can cause a tubular obstruction which raises the risk of kidney failure. The alcohol can lead to dehydration and can impede the normal function of the kidney. The healthy amounts of consumed alcohol are 1 drink for older people and woman on a daily basis and 2 drinks for men.
7. Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking is not just bad for your kidneys, but for every organ in your body, said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The connection of kidney disease and smoking has been found in many studies. According to the AAKP – American Association of Kidney Patients, smoking is the No. 1 cause of end-stage renal disease – ESRD.
The smoking increases the blood pressure and heart rate, and also narrows the blood vessels in your kidneys and decreases the blood flow. This habit can worsen an existing kidney disease, and also can speed up the failure of kidney functions. So, the best thing you can do is to stop smoking, because this habit is very harmful to your health.
8. Consuming Too Much Caffeine
The high amounts of caffeine can increase the blood pressure, and that will burden the kidney function, and over long periods, it can cause damage. The Kidney International has provided a study in 2002, and according to the results, the consumption of caffeine is connected to kidney stones. The caffeine is able to raise the calcium excretion in the urine.
But, most of the people won’t have any kind of problem if they consume the caffeine but in moderate amounts. So, the consumption of 1 to 2 cups of coffee, 3 cups of tea per day is fine. Don’t forget the other sources of the caffeine like cocoa, chocolate, energy drinks, soft drinks and some medication. Limit their amount.
9. Ignoring Common Infections
The ignoring of colds, coughs, flu, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and some other common infections can be the cause of serious damage to the kidneys. Those people that have kidney disease have stated to have no rest while they have been sick, and these are usually sensitive people who get ill often.
So, if you don’t treat the common infection, the bacteria or viruses can cause some kidney damage. So, whenever you have a common infection, treat it on time and properly. Take the antibiotics and rest the body.
10. Lack Of Sleep
Many people ignore the importance of sleep because of the busy lifestyle. A six to eight-hour sleep is important for the overall health of a person. At night while you are sleeping, your organ tissues renew, so if you do not sleep enough, you will interrupt the process and it can lead to damage to your kidneys or some other organs.
The improper sleep, according to some studies can cause atherosclerosis (increased clogging of your arteries) and high blood pressure, and these conditions can raise the risk of any kidney damage. So, do your best to keep a balance between your rest and work, and try to have healthy sleeping habits. You have to do this if you want to protect the kidneys and your health.