The kidneys play a crucial role in keeping your body healthy: they help make red blood cells, regulate blood pressure, detoxify your internal organs, remove excess water, and control levels of all the essential minerals contained in the blood.
That is why it is really important to reduce the risk of kidney disease by breaking certain bad habits and replace them with good ones. We have listed the most common habits that can seriously harm your kidneys.
What Are Kidney Damaging Habits?
8. Holding Your Pee
Not emptying your bladder in time is a major cause of kidney problems. If you often resist the urge to urinate, the urine stays in the bladder for a longer period, and the bacteria begin to multiply much more quickly. This can lead to serious consequences, such as kidney infections and urinary incontinence.
7. Chronic Session
Regular physical activity is often associated with better blood pressure and normal glucose metabolism, important factors in maintaining kidney health. Sitting for long periods without moving can increase your risk of kidney disease by 30%.
If you spend more than 8 hours a day in your chair at work, try to lead an active lifestyle at home: exercise at least 2-3 times a week and don’t miss out on a chance to walk around the neighborhood.
Working out too hard for a long time can cause rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscles are injured and the content of dead fibers flows directly into the bloodstream. This can lead to serious health complications, including kidney failure.
Therefore, if you have significantly increased your training and have muscle pain and dark colored urine, see your doctor as soon as possible.
5. Overusing Painkillers
Although anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen are safe in moderation, their regular excessive use can lead to kidney damage and even total kidney failure. This may be because over-the-counter pain relievers decrease blood flow to the kidneys and make them worse, especially if you already have kidney disease.
Therefore, even if you have severe pain, don’t forget that painkillers should be taken only for a short time and at the lowest possible dose.
4. Don’t Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated helps the kidneys make urine to flush sodium and toxins from the body. If you don’t drink enough water regularly, it can cause serious health problems, including kidney stones.
For most people, 1.5-2 liters of water a day is enough to keep the kidneys healthy. And don’t forget that other drinks don’t work, the only thing that counts is pure water.
How can you know that you are drinking exactly what you need? Your urine should be light yellow, any darker color may be a possible sign of kidney damage.
3. Missing Out On Sleep
It turns out that a good night’s rest is extremely important not only for your overall well-being but also for your kidney health. Your sleep/wake cycles regulate and coordinate your kidney function, and your kidney tissues are renewed only when you are sleeping.
So if you don’t get enough sleep, you stop that process and increase the risk of kidney damage.
Improper sleep can also cause atherosclerosis or hardening and blockage of the arteries. This condition can lead to high blood pressure, which can overload the kidneys and cause kidney failure over time.
2. Eat a Lot of Meat
Excessive consumption of animal protein creates too much acid in the blood that can cause acidosis, a condition in which the kidneys cannot keep the body’s pH in balance. Over time, this disorder can cause severe digestive problems and chronic kidney problems.
The recommended daily intake for protein is approximately 1-1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. So instead of eating a lot of meat, try eating more fruits and vegetables and include different types of protein like eggs, fish, beans, and nuts in your diet.
1. Consume Too Much Salt and Sugar
95% of the sodium consumed with food is metabolized by the kidneys. So if you eat a lot of salty products, your organs must work harder to eliminate excess sodium.
Eventually, this can result in reduced kidney function and lead to water retention in your body, which, in turn, can increase your blood pressure.
Excessive consumption of sugar can also contribute to the development of high blood pressure, in addition to leading to obesity and increasing the risk of diabetes. These are the main causes of kidney failure.
The recommended intake of salt is approximately 3.75 grams (or 0.75 teaspoons) per day, for sugar, it is approximately 25-38 grams (or 6-9 teaspoon).
To keep your kidneys healthy, pay attention to the ingredients when you buy products from a supermarket: processed and packaged foods are often high in sodium and sugar.
Do you have any of these habits? Would it be difficult for you to get rid of them? Share your opinions with us in the comments!