Kidneys, which serve the function of eliminating water and toxins from the body via production of urine, are vital and integral organs of the human body. While performing these functions, they regulate the level of minerals like phosphate and calcium in the body.
In addition to that, kidneys, by producing essential hormones, also regulate blood pressure and the production of the very important red blood cells, which serve the function of carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
It is thus of high importance to ensure proper functioning of the kidneys. If, in some way, it’s obstructed, some of the following symptoms may be experienced: sudden pain, bad breath, vomiting, dizziness, changed colour and quantity of urine, breathing issues, feeling cold most of the times, tiredness or fatigue, or anemia.
If you do notice some of these symptoms occurring to you, immediately consult a doctor to seek treatment. While a variety of factors may be responsible of kidney issues, some of the common habits that contribute to the same are:
1 Insufficient Water Intake
Lack of sufficient water in the body can lead to significant kidney damage, as the blood with get so highly concentrated that the blood flow to kidneys will be reduced. The ability of the kidneys to eliminate toxins from the body will thus be impaired, which may cause other diseases and health issues as well. For an adult, the recommended amount of water to be consumed every day is about 10-12 glasses. Also note that excessive consumption of water can also impair kidney function.
2 Delaying the urge to urinate
This constitutes one of the most common reasons of kidney damage, as the longer urine remains in the kidneys, the more bacteria multiply in it. These bacteria then cause kidney or urinary tract infections. Also, retention of urine leads to urinary incontinence and renal failure, due to excess pressure on the kidneys. Hence, avoid postponing your urge to urinate.
Smoking is a highly detrimental habit, which damages most body organs, the kidneys alike. Numerous studies have been successful in finding links between smoking and renal diseases. American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) found smoking to be the number one cause of ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) .Smoking increases heart rate and blood pressure, which narrows the blood vessels in and reduces blood flow to the kidneys. Also, it accelerates loss of kidney function and aggravates kidney diseases.
4 High Protein Diet
Excessive consumption of protein- based foods, like red meat, increases profoundly the risk of kidney diseases, as digestion of proteins causes nitrogenous byproducts as wastes, which causes excessive pressure on kidneys to eliminate additional waste. Also, excessive protein consumption chronically increases hyperfiltration and glomerular pressure, thus raising profoundly the metabolic load on kidneys, thus causing kidney issues. You should, hence, limit your daily intake of red meat and other protein rich foods, and in case of existing kidney issues, completely eliminate high protein foods from your diet.
5 High Salt Intake
Regularly high intake of salt causes severe kidney damage and may lead to many other health issues. Kidneys, to be precise, metabolize as high as 95% of sodium consumed through food, and in situations of excess quantity, kidneys have to work way harder to excrete them, hence their function is reduced, and water is retained in the body, which may increase blood function or cause kidney disfunction. Many studies show that excessive salt consumption leads to an increase in amounts of urinary protein, which leads to kidney diseases. Do note that all of the excess salt you consume harms your body, and especially the kidneys.
6 Lack Of Adequate Sleep
Most People these days ignore the importance adequate rest and sleep hold. However, contrary to popular belief, a good 6-8 hour sleep is absolutely essential for the body. Tissues of various organs renew during sleep, and in case of lack of it, these processes will not occur, leading to increasing damage of body organs. Many studies indicate that insufficient sleep gives rise to clogging of arteries and increases blood pressure, which increases the risk of kidney diseases. Thus, do make sure to find a proper balance between work and rest, and get a proper sleep of at least 6-8 hours everyday.
7 Regular Usage Of Analgesics
Many people use analgesics, painkillers and other medications to reduce inflammation, treat pain, and cure various other issues. Yet these drugs may damage other body organs, including kidneys. Studies show that non- prescription analgesic pills obstruct kidney functions by reducing the blood flow to kidneys. Thus, long term usage of these causes chronic kidney diseases, like interstitial nephritis and acute kidney injury. Hence, do consult your doctor before taking any analgesic and take them only on a short term basis.
8 Excessive Caffeine Intake
Excessive intake of caffeine increases blood pressure, and with it applied pressure to kidneys, resulting in subsequent kidney damage. According to a study published in the kidney times in the year 2002, since caffeine increases excretion of calcium in urine, it is directly linked to the production of kidney stones. Yet, consumption of caffeine in moderate quantities does not tend to be harmful. But, increased consumption in the form of chocolate, cocoa, soft drinks and energy drinks must be avoided.
9 Excessive Alcohol Intake
This toxin damages the liver and kidney alike, causing damage to kidneys with increase in stress on them. In case of heavy drinking, uric acid gets stored in renal tubules, thus leading to tubular obstruction which in turn increases the risk of kidney failure. Also, alcohol consumption causes dehydration in the body, thus impairing regular kidney function. Advisable daily intake of alcohol for elderly and women is 1 glass, while that for men is 2 glasses.
10 Ignoring Common Infections
Negligence of existing infections, such as cold, cough, tonsils, flu, and pharyngitis may also lead to kidney damage. It is thus advised to pay attention to these infections and get them treated as soon as possible, lest kidneys and other organs of the body too may take a hit.
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