According to Cure Joy, estimates show that 20 million Americans suffer from kidney disease and 1000 more are at a higher risk of developing some kidney-related issue. When it comes to kidney damage, it is vital to note that it does not occur overnight, but it is actually a slow and progressive process that may last for several years. It is usually a consequence of poor lifestyle choices and poor management of other health problems such as diabetes.
Since healthy kidneys are pivotal for a good health, it is necessary to preserve their optimal functioning. To achieve this, check out the list below comprised of the habits that you should definitely stop doing!
11 Worst Habits for the Kidneys
- Insufficient water
The kidneys, as noted on Cure Joy, need a certain amount of fluids to work optimally. Therefore, staying hydrated by consuming enough water on the daily will help the kidneys in the removal of toxins and other waste from the body. In a lot of cases, dehydration is the major reason for kidney damage and kidney stones.
- A sweet tooth
Overconsumption of sweets like desserts, soda drinks, candies, etc. is not good for the kidneys. This is because excessive amounts of fructose elevate the uric acid levels and may trigger cardiorenal illness.
- Not working out
Regular physical activity and working out is necessary for a proper blood flow and it can be of aid with problems like diabetes and hypertension. Overweight and obese individuals can decrease the load on their body by doing the right exercises. According to a study, weight loss has a positive effect on renal function in obese people, in addition to improving the cardiovascular health.
- Too much salt
Overconsumption of salt, whether by adding it to your meals in excessive amounts or by eating foods that are already overly salty can be problematic for a lot of people, especially if you are hypertensive. Instead of salty snacks, pre-packaged foods, and canned goods that tend to be high on sodium, reach for fresh veggies, fruits, and nuts and when you cook, make sure you add a small amount of salt. The recommended daily intake of salt should not be more than 2300 mg per day.
- Poor sleep
Sleep is crucial for our health and well-being because it is the time when the body heals and restores itself, including the kidney tissues. Therefore, lack of sleep or poor sleep can contribute arterial blockage and thus, you will have a higher blood pressure which may further harm the kidneys. Whenever you can, try to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Smoking has a negative impact on the blood pressure and it puts your cardiovascular health at risk because it elevates the heart rate, tightens the blood vessels in the kidneys, and harms the arterial branches. In diabetics, smoking is known to increase the possibility of kidney-related issues. Smokers definitely have a higher risk of losing kidney function than non-smokers. Do your best to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
- You consume too much protein
Eating protein in high amounts, particularly the one coming from red meat, puts you at a higher risk of kidney damage because the kidneys are in charge of filtering toxins such as nitrogen and ammonia from protein sources. Too much of it will lead the kidneys into overdrive and they will begin hyperfiltrating, which may result in kidney damage.
- You tend to hold it in
Postponing urination is never advantageous for the kidneys and when nature calls, you should answer. Otherwise, the toxins and chemicals that need to be removed will still be present in the body. If this is a chronic thing for you, you will be more prone to incontinence, kidney stones, as well as other types of kidney damage.
- Too much alcohol
The kidneys assist the body in filtering out dangerous substances, including alcoholic drinks. Therefore, when you drink too much alcohol, you put too much pressure on the kidneys and if this happens on a frequent basis, you will damage the renal system. Taking into consideration that alcohol is dehydrating, surplus amounts of it in the body will reduce the hydration of other organs and decrease their functioning.
- Poor diet
Eating healthy does not always mean that you are consuming the right foods in case you have kidney issues. If the kidneys are under pressure, your physician may recommend a diet low on potassium and phosphorus, i.e. all of a sudden, the traditionally “bad” foods like white rice, pasta, and white bread will become beneficial for you. Avoid whole-grain foods, oatmeal, nuts, lentils, fish, meat, poultry, cola, tomatoes, bananas, potatoes, and oranges. You can opt for apples, peaches, carrots, green beans, rice milk, corn and rice cereals, and protein (in moderate amounts) from chicken and fish.
- Nutrient deficiencies
According to Cure Joy, lacking vitamin B6 and D puts you at a higher risk of kidney stones and damage. Also, magnesium is an essential mineral for the body because without it, the elimination of surplus calcium cannot be adequately performed, which may in turn lead to kidney stone formation.