Filtering about 120-150 quarts of blood to produce 1-2 quarts of urine, it’s no wonder the kidneys are vital for survival. In fact these important organs perform a number of vital functions like preventing waste accumulation in the body, keeping electrolyte levels in check, and secreting hormones that regulate blood pressure, produce blood cells, and help maintain strong bones. In other words, they are in charge of overall health.
Kidney disease and kidney failure generally occur as a result of accumulation of waste products in the body. Early symptoms of kidney disease often include weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, and confusion. Moreover, when kidney function is compromised, potassium remains in the bloodstream, which may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. However, initial kidney failure may go without symptoms.
These common habits put a lot of pressure on your kidneys causing serious kidney damage over time.
1. High Salt Intake
Although our bodies are dependent on sodium or salt for proper function, excessive consumption of salt increases blood pressure, which consequently puts a lot of pressure on your kidneys. Your daily salt intake shouldn’t exceed 5g a day.
2. Lack of water
The kidneys depend on sufficient water intake for proper function. Not drinking enough water can lead to toxin buildup in the body, thus affecting other body functions including the primary kidney function, which is detoxification. According to the National Kidney Foundation, you should aim at drinking 12 glasses of water on a regular daily basis.
3. Not Emptying Your Bladder
Urine buildup will not only increase the pressure on your kidneys, but also lead to formation of kidney stones. Retaining urine in your bladder on a regular basis also leads to renal failure or incontinence.
4. Regular Use of Analgesics
It’s a common habit among people to use painkillers to treat almost any kind of pain, and these drugs can trigger serious kidney and liver damage.
5. High Protein Diet
Excessive consumption of red meat burdens the entire metabolism leading to kidney dysfunction or kidney failure over time. A recent Harvard University study found that too much protein in your diet can damage the kidneys because of a protein metabolism byproduct – ammonia, which is a toxin the kidneys must neutralize. In other words, more protein means a greater burden on the kidneys.
6. Drinking too much alcohol
As with overconsumption of almost anything, alcohol too can have serious consequences upon your kidney and liver health owing to the toxins it contains. According to Kidney Health Australia and American Kidney Fund, drinking alcohol in moderation is one way to prevent kidney disease.
7. Drinking too much caffeine
Similar to salt, large quantities of caffeine not only increase your blood pressure, but also put a lot of strain on your kidneys, and regular consumption can lead to kidney damage.
8. Ignoring Common Infections
Kidney damage is often triggered by common infections like colds, flu, coughs, pharyngitis, tonsillitis etc. People suffering from kidney disease typically have a history of not resting when sick. Also, people with kidney disease are more vulnerable to weather changes and infections.