Kidneys are pretty important organ in body as they work very hard. They are about a fist size each located just below the rib cage on each side of our spine, which absorb minerals and nutrients, act as filter for toxins in our blood, produce our urine, waste and excess fluid to prevent the buildup of waste in our body. Since damage to kidney often goes unnoticed until it’s too late, we should take important preventive measure to ensure kidney health.
We list below 10 common habits that put strain on your kidneys.
1. Not drinking enough water
You need to keep kidneys hydrated so that they can perform their most important function, that is filter blood and get rid of toxins and waste materials that can harm the body. The National Kidney Foundation, USA, recommends at least 10-12 glasses of water every day. Keep a check on your urine colour, to see if your water intake matches your body requirement, the colour should be light or clear. If it is otherwise dark means you need enough water.
2. Having Too much sodium in diet
Salt is an important nutrient, but it can cause a disaster when taken in excessive amounts. Overconsumption of sodium will not only raise your blood pressure but also puts a lot of strain on your kidneys. It is therefore recommended that you should limit yourselves to no more than 5.8 grams (0.2 ounces) of salt per day. So put down that salt shaker! Better still banish that from your dining area.
3. Drinking soda
12,000 people working at Osaka University in Japan participated in a study that found that drinking 2 or more soda drinks a day either diet or regular may well be connected to higher risk of kidney disease. The study found that participants who drank larger quantities of soda had protein in their urine, which is first sign of kidney damage. However, early detection can reverse the disease with proper treatment.
A study published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics stated that just smoking 2 cigarettes a day is enough to double the number of endothelial cells present your bloodstream. This is a sign of arterial damage. Endothelial cells are the one that line our blood vessel wall. Perhaps this is reason that smoking has been linked to atherosclerosis, narrowing and hardening of blood vessels which influence the blood supply to all major organs including kidneys. In fact smoking is deadly for diabetic patients and increases the chances of kidney failure much more in smokers than non-smokers.
5. Delaying nature’s call a little too often
Not listening to your nature call and holding your urine is a very bad idea as it puts unnecessary pressure on your bladder which may result in your body holding on to all those toxin residuals in your body. The fact is that holding to pee on regular basis can lead to kidney failure, kidney stones and kidney incontinence.
6. Sleep deprivation
We all know the importance of a good night sleep, how important it is for our well being. Chronic sleep disorder is linked to many diseases and kidney diseases are one of them. During night when we sleep our body repairs damaged kidney tissues. So allow your body time to heal and repair.
7. Consuming too much caffeine
Like salt, caffeine too can raise your blood pressure and put extra pressure on your kidneys. So keep an eye and limit your consumption of caffeine.
8. Too much animal protein
An overdose of protein in our diet can cause kidneys damage states a study conducted at Harvard University. When we digest protein, our body produces a byproduct called ammonia. Ammonia is a toxin that our keys need to neutralize. This thus means that the more protein we consume, the harder our kidneys need to work, which can eventually lead to kidney failure.
9. Consuming too much alcohol
There is no stopping you having a glass of wine or bottle of beer, the only thing is we should know when to stop. As alcohol has toxins that actually puts lots of stress on our kidney and liver that can lead to damages. Kidney Health Australia and the American Kidney Fund suggest that one good way of avoiding kidney failure is drinking alcohol in moderation.
10. Pain-Killer Abuse
We have this habit of popping up pills to overcome any common ailment or pain without thinking of the consequences. Well they may quell the pain but remember that all pharmaceutical drugs have some sort of side effects and many of them cause damage to kidney and liver.