The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist, located just below the rib cage on each side of the spine. Every single day, the kidneys filter about
120-150 quarts of urine, waste and excess fluid to prevent the buildup of waste in the body. The kidneys keep electrolyte levels stable and produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep bones strong.
If the kidneys sound pretty important, that’s because they are. Healthy kidneys are vital to keeping everything in the body running smoothly. Damage to the kidneys can often go unnoticed, so it’s important to take preventative measures to ensure kidney health. Here’s a list of ten common habits that you might not realize are putting a lot of pressure on your kidneys and may lead to serious kidney damage over time.
1. Not Emptying Your Bladder Timely
Maintaining a full bladder for a long time or delaying the urge to urinate is one of the main reasons behind kidney damage.
When urine remains in the bladder for a long time, it can cause the bacteria breeding in urine to multiply. In turn, these harmful bacteria can cause a urinary tract infection or kidney infection. Moreover, retaining urine increases pressure on the kidneys and can lead to renal failure and incontinence.
If you habitually delay responding to the call of nature, it’s time to rectify it for the benefit of your kidneys. No matter how busy you are, listen to the nature call signals and follow them.
2. Insufficient Water Intake
Not drinking an ample amount of water can also cause huge damage to your kidneys. The main function of the kidneys is to flush out metabolic waste from the body and regulate erythrocyte production.
When the body lacks sufficient water, there is less blood flow to the kidneys because the blood becomes concentrated. This hampers the kidneys’ ability to eliminate toxins from the body, and more toxins in the body means more health problems.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, a healthy adult must drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of fluid daily to keep the kidneys healthy and the body well hydrated. However, keep in mind that drinking too much water can also be hard on your kidneys. So, do not overdo it.
Smoking adversely impacts your blood pressure. You also increase cardiovascular risk since smoking increases your heart rate, narrows the blood vessels in your kidneys, damages arterial branches, and causes arteriosclerosis in the renal arteries. These, in turn, stack the odds against you for kidney damage.
Smoking is deadly for those with diabetes because it increases the chances of kidney problems. Smokers run the risk of losing kidney function faster than non-smokers. But quitting smoking will significantly decrease any future risks.
4. High Intake of Salt
If you consume too much salt regularly, that habit can lead to a kidney damage and some other health problems. 95 percent of the sodium that is consumed through the food is metabolized by the kidneys. If you eat too much salt, the kidneys will have to work harder to remove the excess salt. This situation can reduce the function of the kidneys, and that can lead to retention of water in the body. The retention of water can increase your blood pressure and the risk of kidney disease.
Some studies say that the intake of salt can raise the quantity of urinary protein, and that is another risk for some kidney disease. Every amount that is higher than five grams per day is harmful for your health and your kidneys. 1 teaspoon of salt is about 6 grams.
5. Winging It With Medication
Sticking to the prescribed medicines is important. Certain medication can cause kidney damage if taken incorrectly or not closely monitored. If your doctor has suggested a specific dosage for a fixed duration, take it only for that long and no more.
OTC pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are all bad for your kidneys if taken regularly or on a daily basis. Certain antibiotics (aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, cephalosporins, bacitracin, and vancomycin) can also be harmful if you have delicate kidneys.
6. High Protein Diet
The excessive intake of the protein-based foods (red meat) can raise the risk of any kidney disease. The kidneys have an important role to metabolize and remove the nitrogenous wastes from your body, and they are the by-products of protein digestion. The high intake of the protein raises the hyper filtration and glomerular pressure, because increasing the metabolic load of the kidneys that increases the risk of some kidney problems.
So, you have to limit the consumption of red meat, and those people who already have some kidney issues have to immediately stop the consumption of red meat because it can cause some other problem.
7. Consuming Too Much Alcohol
Consuming alcoholic beverages on a regular basis can lead to increased kidney pressure and kidney and liver damage.
8. Consuming Too Much Coffee
It has been found that excessive caffeine intake could increase blood pressure levels and apply too much stress on the kidneys. Furthermore, over time, too much coffee consumption could cause kidney damage.
9. Ignoring Common Infections
Ignoring common infections like colds, the flu, coughs, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and others can also cause huge damage to your kidneys.
In fact, people who have kidney disease often have a history of not resting when they are sick. Moreover, people with kidney disease are more sensitive to weather changes and often get sick.
The bacteria or viruses that cause common infections can damage your kidneys if treatment is not carried out timely.
Next time you suffer from a common infection, get it treated quickly and properly. Take your antibiotics properly and rest your body until you feel better.
10. Lack of Sleep
Due to busy lifestyles, many people ignore the importance of sleep. Sound sleep of 6 to 8 hours daily is important for your overall health.
During the night when you sleep, renewal of organ tissues occurs. Therefore, when you do not get sound sleep, this interrupts the renewal process, resulting in damage to the kidneys and other organs.
Studies also suggest that sleepless nights may cause high blood pressure and more atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries). This in turn increases your risk of kidney disease.
Try to adopt healthy sleeping habits and maintain a good balance between work and rest. This will greatly help protect your kidneys from health issues and allow you to live a healthy life.