Your kidneys are some of the most important organs in your body. These 2 bean-shaped organs serve to draw waste from your blood, make urine, absorb minerals, produce hormones, get rid of toxins, and neutralize acids. They are placed opposite each other and are located behind your back muscles on the top abdominal cavity. These organs are very vital in your body and need to be well taken care of.
Noticing or discovering an improperly functioning kidney isn’t easy and most people end up realizing kidney problems when they’ve already blown out of proportion. This has led to many referring to kidney problems as “The Silent Diseases.”
A proper understanding of how the kidneys work and some of the things we do consciously or unconsciously that damage our kidneys is vital in sustaining our kidneys in good health and having them function as they were meant to with no issues whatsoever. Below is an overview of 7 things we do that damage our kidneys in the long run without our knowledge:
Your body needs sodium or salt in order to function properly. But even so, consuming excess salt increases the saturation of sodium within your bloodstream, thereby altering your kidney’s balance, resulting in its ability to remove water becoming minimal. This translates to high blood pressure owing to the surplus fluid and the excess strain placed on the delicate blood vessels that project into the kidneys.
The recommended daily salt intake is an approximately five grams. Consuming more than this is harmful to your kidney.
Some freshly prepared foods have natural sugars and added sweeteners. When consumed in moderation, natural sugars are good for your health. On the flip side, consuming excess table sugar, sweeteners, and processed sugars may result in problems such as diabetes, and obesity.
Sugar isn’t an issue for your kidneys. It can only be if the blood sugar level pumps too high. This is a common scenario in Type 1 and 2 diabetes. In the event that the blood sugar levels rise beyond 180mg/dl, the kidneys will start emitting sugar into urine. The higher the blood sugar level, the more sugar that is emitted in urine. This can result in kidney damage especially if you suffer from diabetes.
Consuming vegetables and fruits rich in nutrients is essential in retaining the good health and proper functioning of the kidneys. A deficiency in vitamins and minerals, more specifically Vitamin B6 and Magnesium in your diet may result in kidney stones and other kidney disorders.
Excessive coffee intake, just like excessive salt intake, raises your blood pressure and adds more pressure to the kidneys. Caffeine stimulates the flow of blood to the kidneys, thereby elevating the stress unleashed on your renal system of which your kidneys are part of. Prolonged consumption of caffeine magnifies the risk of kidney failure through limiting your kidney’s capacity to filter the available insulin in your bloodstream.
Studies show that prolonged coffee intake elevates the quantity of calcium excreted via the kidneys, hence resulting in a calcium deficiency.
Consuming too much alcohol negatively affects your blood pressure. Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop high blood pressure which is a major cause of kidney disease. Excessive drinking can result in liver disease. When this happens, the kidney becomes burdened with more work.
Optimal blood flow to the kidney allows it to function properly and filter blood well. The liver disease affects the proper functioning of the kidney by impairing the balance. When you become alcohol dependent, you are more likely to have a kidney dysfunction.
Nonprescription medicine used to relieve pain shouldn’t be used without a doctor’s prescription and guidance, and especially if you have a kidney disorder. Prolonged use of over the counter medicine to deal with pain can damage your kidney tissue and structure. Blood flow to the kidney can also be minimized.
Painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen just to name a few are good to the body if used in the recommended dosage. However, excessive use of these drugs can result in kidney damage conditions such as analgesic nephropathy and acute renal failure.
It is a common practice for many to ignore the pressing feeling to go to the bathroom and urinate. While you may have the capacity to hold your bladder for long and suppress urine until the feeling disappears, you place your kidney under pressure and this may result in disorders such as incontinence, kidney failure, and kidney stones. The simple solution is to just go to the bathroom and empty out your bladder and by so doing keep your kidney healthy.
It is no doubt that the kidney is a vital organ but at the same time easy to damage with small harmful habits and activities that we engage in. So many people have had to pay a high price in terms of medical costs to treat kidney-related ailments, some which would have been avoided if they had this information available to them.
The challenge goes out to you: Which of these things or habits do you do most? Has it already affected your kidney? Are you willing to make necessary changes to preserve your kidneys, stay healthy, and have a happy life? The ball is in your court. Cut off these harmful things and habits and save your kidneys.