Kidney-related diseases affect more than 30 million Americans and in many cases, it turns out to be fatal. So it is very important to take care of your kidneys right from the start.
Doctors believe that certain lifestyle choices are contributing very heavily to the increased incidences of kidney diseases at present.
A List Of Habits That May Be Damaging To Your Kidneys
- Painkillers- Painkillers are common medications subscribed for injuries and body aches. But some patients over-use and self-medicate with painkillers without consulting a physician. Frequent use of painkillers in high doses can be extremely damaging to the kidneys and they should be avoided unless recommended by a trained health professional.
- Salt intake- Salt is present in most food items. But overindulgence of salt can lead to an increase in the sodium levels of the body. Increased sodium is responsible for high blood pressure. Persistent levels of high blood pressure can cause severe damage to the kidneys. People who suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure should avoid salt as much as possible and use other spices in their food. It is also important to consult a doctor and take medications to control blood pressure in order to reduce pressure on the kidneys.
- Processed/junk foods- In the 21st century, most of us have become addicted to the convenience of processed and junk foods. But processed foods contain high levels of phosphorus which are very harmful to kidney diseases. Junk foods are also rich in sodium and sugars, which can strain the kidneys.
- High sugar intake- High intake of sugars has an indirect but very strong correlation with kidney diseases. High sugar intake can lead to diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are major risk factors for developing kidney diseases. Patients suffering from kidney disease should avoid adding sugars to their food and try to avoid desserts. But they should also look for high sugar levels mentioned in the ingredient list of different unlikely items like white bread, breakfast cereals, and so forth. Sodas are also extremely high in sugar content.
- Insufficient water intake- when we drink water, it helps our kidneys flush out toxins from our body. People who do not drink enough water regularly can develop kidney stones or other kidney-related complications. An average adult should drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily. But people who have already developed a kidney disease are often asked by doctors to limit their fluid intake.
- Too much protein- Proteins are very important for a healthy body and animal meat is a good source of protein. But overeating of animal meats can produce harmful acids in the body and lead to acidosis. This is a condition when the kidneys cannot remove acids from the body fast enough. A balanced healthy diet, with meat, fruits, vegetables, whole grains in adequate amounts, is good for the body.
- Improper sleep schedule- Sleep is necessary for all organs of the body. But it is especially important for kidney function because the sleep-wake cycle of our body regulates the kidneys. Missing out on sleep frequently can damage the kidneys irreversibly.
- Smoking – We all know that smoking is bad for the lungs. But it can also be extremely damaging for the kidneys. Researchers have found that regular smokers are more likely to have kidney disease and show protein in their urine samples.
- Drinking – Those who drink quite heavily multiple times a week are very prone to developing kidney problems. Having more than four drinks per day greatly increases the chances of CKD (chronic kidney disease). People who smoke as well as drink have a higher chance of developing CKD.
- Sedentary life- People with desk jobs and inactive lifestyles are found to be more prone to developing kidney problems. Scientists have not discovered an exact reason why sitting down all day can lead to the deterioration of the kidneys. But they believe that a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise can manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and this indirectly improves kidney health.
Once a person enters the stage of kidney failure, there is no cure. They will have to get dialysis multiple times a week and eventually attempt to get a transplant. But doctors believe that such a painful and difficult situation can be avoided in many cases by some simple changes in day-to-day life.