6 Harmful Habits That Are Damaging Your Kidneys

Harmful Habits That Are Damaging Your Kidneys

Kidneys are one of the essential organs of the human body. They play a vital role in filtering out toxins and waste products from the blood. Apart from filtering waste, they also help maintain the balance of electrolytes, produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, and produce red blood cells. Therefore, it is important to take care of our kidneys by avoiding habits that can cause harm. I’m about to tell you about six harmful habits that are damaging your kidneys and ways to avoid them.

1. Consuming too much salt

Salt is an essential part of our diet, but consuming too much salt can be harmful to your kidneys. If you eat too much salt, it can make your blood pressure go up. High blood pressure is one of the things that can cause kidney disease. For this reason, it is important to limit your daily consumption of salt.

According to the FDA, almost ninety percent of American are eating more salt than what is recommended. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, but ideally, adults should consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium daily.

To reduce your salt intake, try to avoid processed foods, as they often contain high levels of salt. Instead, use herbs and spices to add flavor to your food. Besides, avoid adding too much salt to your cooking and at the table.

2. Not drinking enough water

Water helps to flush out toxins and waste products from your body, including your kidneys. When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes concentrated, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Staying hydrated is vital by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men drink about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of water daily, while women should consume 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water per day. To ensure you drink enough water, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day, and drink water before, during, and after exercise.

3. Smoking

According to research, smoking harms almost every organ in the body, including the kidneys. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing blood flow and decreasing the kidneys’ ability to function correctly. According to research, smoking doubles the risk of kidney cancer and increases the risk of chronic kidney disease. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to protect your kidneys. Seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare professional to help you quit smoking.

4. Consuming Too Much Sugar

Another harmful habit that can damage your kidneys is consuming too much sugar. Eating too much sugar on a regular basis leads to obesity. Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to chronic kidney disease. To reduce your sugar intake, avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Opt for whole foods instead. Be sure to read food labels carefully and avoid foods that contain added sugars.

5. Overusing painkillers

Painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. However, overusing these medications can damage your kidneys. Over time, the kidneys may lose their ability to filter waste, leading to kidney failure. Experts recommend limiting the use of over-the-counter painkillers to avoid kidney damage.

6. Excessive consumption of alcohol

Drinking alcohol in moderation is generally considered safe, but excessive alcohol consumption can be harmful to the kidneys. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates the body and reduces blood flow to the kidneys. This can damage the kidneys over time and lead to kidney disease. Some studies suggest that limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men can help protect the kidneys.

Also read: 10 Foods That Help Repair Kidneys

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