The kidneys are part of the vital organs, even if we can live only with one. They filter the blood of toxins. In addition, the principle role of the kidneys is to eliminate excess water from the body, or to keep it in case of need. The kidneys regulate the levels of phosphate, calcium and other minerals in the body.
The kidneys have a role in the regulation of blood pressure as they produce important hormones to support this function, as well as in the production of red blood cells that carry important nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
As you can see, the kidneys have several important functions in our body, so it is essential to preserve their functioning. Common symptoms of kidney problems include: vomiting, dizziness, respiratory problems, anemia, fatigue, bad breath, itchy skin, abnormal amount and color of urine, and brutal pain in the back.
Do not hesitate to consult a doctor if you notice some of these symptoms in order to prevent kidney disease. Kidney problems can be caused by several factors that are simply habits for the majority of people and can really damage the kidneys.
Here is a list of 10 common habits that put a lot of pressure on your kidneys and can cause serious damage over time:
1. DELAYING THE NEED TO URINATE
One of the major causes of kidney dysfunction is not empting your bladder but to let the urine stay in the bladder for a long time, which allows the bacteria to reproduce and multiply and thus seriously damages the kidney and leading to renal failure.
Restraining from urination can cause urinary incontinence and kidney damage, due to pressure on the kidneys.
If you are one of those who delay the urge to urinate, it’s time to change that before it’s too late.
2. NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
The most important function of your kidneys is to filter blood and eliminate toxins and waste, and if your body lacks water, your blood will become dense and there will be less blood in your kidneys, this alters their functions.
If you drink less than 4 cups a day, be aware that this is not good for your health. The ideal would be to consume at least 10 to 12 glasses of water per day. This way, your body will be well hydrated and you will keep your kidneys healthy.
3. HIGH SALT CONSUMPTION
Consuming too much salt and on a regular basis can seriously damage the kidneys and affect the general state of their health too.
95% of sodium consumed through food is metabolized by the kidneys. If you consume too much salt your kidneys will have to work much harder to evacuate the excess salt, this can reduce the proper functioning of your kidneys, leading to water retention in the body. Water retention can both increase blood pressure and cause kidney disease.
According to many studies, taking salt increases the amount of protein in the urine, which is another factor promoting the development of kidney disorders.
Do not consume more than 1 teaspoon per day. A teaspoon of salt is approximately six grams.
4. ABUSE OF PAIN KILLERS
Many people take pain killers to reduce inflammation and fever. However, this habit can severely damage your kidneys as well as other organs. Research has shown that analgesics can slow blood circulation in the kidneys and damage their functioning. The excessive or abusive use of analgesics causes acute renal failure or interstitial nephritis which is a chronic kidney disease.
Those suffering from kidney failure should consult their doctor before taking pain killers. These should be taken as little as possible and for short periods of time.
5. TOO MUCH ANIMAL PROTEIN
Excessive intake of protein-based foods such as red meat increases the risk of kidney disease. The kidneys have another important role that is to metabolize and eliminate nitrogenous wastes from the body that are actually byproducts by digesting proteins. Surely consumption of protein increases chronic glomerular filtration pressure, thereby increasing the metabolic load of the kidneys, which in turn may cause kidney disease.
The best thing for your kidneys would be to limit the consumption of red meat, and those who are already undergoing treatment for a kidney problem should immediately stop consuming it as this could aggravate their condition.
6. CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL
Alcohol is a poison that causes a lot of stress on the liver and kidneys, so drinking excessive amounts could cause serious damage to the kidneys, so it is best to consume it in moderation.
If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, uric acid will be stored in the renal tubules causing a lobular obstruction which increases the risk of developing renal insufficiency. On the other hand, alcohol dehydrates which prevents proper functioning of the kidney. The recommended moderate consumption of alcohol would be a glass of wine for women and two glasses for men.
7. STOP SMOKING
Smoking is not only bad for the kidneys but almost for all organs of your body.
Smoking increases heart rate and blood pressure, decreases blood flow and narrows blood vessels in the kidneys. This bad habit can aggravate an already existing kidney disease thus accelerating the dysfunction of the kidneys. The best way to avoid this is to quit smoking, as this habit is harmful to every part of your body.
8. CAFFEINE ABUSE
If you overuse caffeine, your blood pressure will be increased and will thus charge the function of the kidneys, which over long periods can damage them. Kidney International published a study in 2002 according to which caffeine consumption is closely related to kidney stones. Caffeine may increase the excretion of calcium in the urine.
However, people who consume caffeine in moderation are absolutely safe. So drinking 3 cups of tea, 1 to 2 cups of coffee is perfectly correct, but be sure to consider other sources of caffeine, such as cocoa, soft drinks, chocolate, other by-products and some medicines. So make sure you also limit the amount.
9. IGNORE CURRENT INFECTIONS
Ignoring cough, cold, flu, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and other common infections can cause serious kidney damage. Those with kidney disease often reported not to have rested when they were sick, these people are often those who are sensitive to the changes of time.
If you do not treat your infection, viruses or bacteria can damage your kidneys, it would be advisable to treat a mild infection properly by resting and taking appropriate treatment.
10. LACK OF SLEEP
Many people are unaware of the importance of good sleep because of their overloaded lifestyle. 6 to 8 hours of sleep are crucial for a person’s health; the tissues of organs are renewed while you sleep, so if you do not sleep enough, you interrupt this process, which damages many organs including your kidneys.
According to many studies, inadequate sleep can cause increased obstruction of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure, which damages the kidneys.
Try to always find the right balance between work and rest, and adopt a good sleeping habit, in this way you spare your kidneys and all your vital organs.