Are you aware of these daily habits that could be hurting your kidneys ? Let’s admit it: these organs are not given the respect they need. So much attention is placed on our heart, lungs, and mental health, leaving our poor old kidneys left to the side. Yet, without our kidneys, we would not be able to live. Think of these two bean-shaped organs as your trash men. The kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from your body via the urine. The production of urine involves complex steps of excretion and absorption. These processes are vital to survival. If we damage our kidneys, our body would no longer be able to clear itself of harmful substances.
What You Should Know About Your Kidneys
The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the performance and function of other organs.
As such, it is crucial that you practice good lifestyle habits that keep your kidneys in their best shape. Consider breaking the following deadly habits.
Not drinking enough water
This cannot be overemphasized. Countless number of health studies prove that water is necessary for you to function. Chronic dehydration can lead to kidney failure. Remember that the body eliminates toxins through urine. When there is not enough water in our systems, toxins build up and can overload the kidneys. This can lead to the formation of kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, blood clots within the urinary tract, and damage to the nerves that control the bladder. Severe cases of kidney failure may require expensive dialysis or kidney transplant.
Maximize with nutrient-packed foods. Give your body the nutrients it needs by eating a variety of nutrient-packed food, including whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Eat less food high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).
Kidney failure is fatal. More than 47, 000 Americans died from kidney disease in 2013 alone.
Remember to choose your fluids carefully as well. It can be tempting to reach for that soda or sugared beverage, but stop yourself. Excessive intake of sugar-rich drinks can actually damage your kidneys further. Several studies prove that sweetened soft drinks can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease . Water is still the best beverage to drink.
New evidence show that cigarette smoking can lead to renal failure . The exact mechanisms are only partially understood but initial hypotheses assume a cumulative effect. That is, smoking damages cells and weakens the immune system, which in turn stresses all organs. Renal failure also leads to an increased cardiovascular risk, which is further aggravated by smoking.
Taking over-the-counter medicine
Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen are linked to an increased risk of kidney damage. The synthetic compounds in these pills stress organ function and can lead to excessive accumulation of kidney stones . Most stones are small and can pass unnoticed through the urinary tract. However, some stones can grow to the size of a golf ball and are incredibly painful.
Not sleeping correctly
Two factors need to be considered: quality and length. It is not enough for you to get eight hours of sleep. New studies point to the equally important factor of quality of sleep. The best type of sleep leaves you feeling energized and refreshed when you awake. A study of middle-aged people show that those who slept less than six hours a night or more than ten hours were at a higher risk of experiencing renal hyperfiltration — an early sign of kidney disease.
Exercising too much
Healthy habits are those that are done in moderation. Extreme exercise habits are linked to severe kidney damage. This is attributed to the body not having adequate amounts of rest while continually being exposed to extreme physical stress.
Make a “me” list. What makes you happy? Running, grocery shopping solo, hot coffee with a friend, etc. Find a way to do at least three things on that list every week. It makes me feel like I can still have a bit of me when everyone else in my life seems to need 100 percent of me, too.
Not getting enough magnesium
Magnesium is crucial to correct body function. There is often confusion regarding magnesium intake and kidney function and you are encouraged to do your own research to determine the facts for yourself. Magnesium is essential for proper health and a deficiency contributes to many health challenges, so be sure to incorporate this mineral into your diet.