There are cases of kidney damage being diagnosed with a higher frequency. There are many causes of kidney failure, which could be due to an unhealthy habit or lifestyle. In this post, I shall dwell on some of these habits and the effects it could have on the kidney.
You will also find out how you can keep the organ healthy, through a conscious effort to adhere to avoid behavioral patterns that negatively affects the kidney’s functionality.
The kidneys are like a two bean-shaped organ that extract waste and toxins from the blood stream and balance the fluids within the body. It also forms urine and performs other essential functions like regulation of blood pressure through the salt and water balance, and aid in red blood cell production in the body.
The kidneys are located on each side of the spine in the back muscles below the rib cage.
There are common symptoms that indicate a problem of the kidney organ like a change in color and quantity of your urine, dizziness, fatigue, breathing challenges, and sudden pain in the body.
The following are common habits that could damage the kidney.
1. Insufficient intake of water: The functions of water in the body are numerous, and it has no substitute. Taking carbonated or energy drinks cannot replace the need for water as dehydration usually results in kidney failure. The kidney flushes out metabolic waste from the body and regulates erythrocyte production. However, if the blood is concentrated because of lack of adequate water, it inhibits the ability of the kidney to eliminate toxins in the body. Therefore, the kidneys need to be properly hydrated to perform its functions correctly. You need to take at least 12 glasses of water on a daily basis to ensure your body is hydrated.
2. High Salt consumption: Although intake of salt is essential to the body, too much consumption of salt can cause damage to your kidney. It’s important to curtail the quantity of salt you add while cooking as it could pose a serious threat to your health and kidney. The kidney metabolizes 95% of the sodium taken through food consumed, and the kidney works harder to extract the excess salt if it’s high. This could reduce the functioning of the kidney as it becomes strained due to the work pressure exerted on it and the result is retention of water in the body. A consequence of water retention is an increase in the blood pressure and the risk of kidney disease or failure. You should be mindful of how much salt you consume and your choice of diet.
3. Filled up bladder: It’s important to empty the bladder no matter the number of times you have to use the restroom for that purpose. The urge to urinate is a signal from the body to get rid of toxic waste, and when you delay this pressure urge, it could result in kidney failure. Urine contains bacteria and when it stays in the bladder more than necessary these bacteria could multiply which could cause a kidney infection or a urinary tract infection. It’s imperative to empty your bladder whenever the urge arises.
4. Excessive drinking of Alcohol: Excessive drinking can lead to serious damage to the kidneys. If you must drink then, let it be done in moderation. My doctor friend recommends complete abstinence from drinking alcohol. However, you may drink red wine occasionally due to the health benefit it yields for the heart. A high quantity of alcoholic beverages causes uric acid to be stored up in the renal tubules which lead to tubular obstruction.
5. Cigarette smoking: Lots of research by medical practitioners all contend that smoking is bad for all organs of the body, including the kidneys. Several studies have shown the relationship between tobacco use and kidney disease among affected patients who indulge in smoking. Different health challenges are associated with smoking of cigarettes and kidney disease is not an exception. Smoking reduces the blood flow in the body as it constricts the blood vessels in the kidneys. It also accelerates the blood pressure and heart rate. The best you could do for yourself is to put a stop to smoking if that’s a dangerous lifestyle you are engaged in, to avoid the attendant health challenges it poses.
6. High Protein diet: Enormous intake of food containing protein like red meat, and other forms of the animal protein can increase the risk of developing kidney disease. Beef, Pork or Lamb consumption should be reduced to the barest minimum or entirely avoided. Furthermore, people with kidney disease should avoid eating any type of red meat as it exacerbates the kidney disease and condition.
7. Use of Analgesics: If you are fond of taking pain relievers, especially without medical prescription then it’s time to stop. Consuming any form of analgesics to reduce pain, inflammation or feverish condition should be done with the prescription of a physician. Research shows that long-term use of analgesics without prescription may reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and result to kidney failure.
8. Ignoring infections: You could have damage to your kidneys due to common infections like cold, cough, the flu, tonsillitis amongst others. These common diseases have bacteria or viruses that can damage your kidneys if not treated in time. It goes without saying that you should treat common infections appropriately and immediately to avoid any further breakdown of your health.
9. Lack of sleep: The benefits of sleep to health should not be overlooked. You need an average of 7 hours sleep every day to stay fit and healthy. Organ tissues go through a renewal process while you sleep, so the lack of sleep disrupts this normal process which could result in damage to the kidney and other vital organs. Sleeplessness may also cause high blood pressure so it’s better to adopt a healthy sleeping lifestyle that would enhance your health.
10. Lack of exercise: Exercise is an excellent means of staying healthy, and it improves your level of fitness and wellbeing. Studies reveal that people who exercise regularly have lower risks of developing kidney diseases in comparison to others who have engaged in little of no form of exercise.
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