8 Daily Habits That Can Damage Your Kidneys

Your Kidneys

Your kidneys are a critical part of your body that does an amazing job.

They filter and clean the blood, regulate electrolyte balance, and maintain fluid levels in the body.

But what many people don’t know is that there are some daily habits that can damage these vital organs.

In this blog post, we will look at eight daily habits that can damage your kidneys.

1. Smoking cigarettes

The first thing on this list is smoking cigarettes.

It’s a habit that many people struggle with and won’t stop doing no matter how hard they try.

The nicotine in cigarettes causes your blood vessels to constrict, which makes it difficult for oxygen-carrying red blood cells to flow through them.

This means less oxygen will get to your kidneys which can lead to kidney damage. 

This is why smokers have an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease compared to non-smokers.

So if you want to reduce the risk of kidney disease, now is a good time to quit smoking for good.

2. Drinking too much alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most damaging habits that can damage your kidneys.

The more alcohol you drink, the more dehydrated you will become, and the harder it becomes for your body to maintain proper levels of hydration.  

This can ultimately lead to kidney failure.

In fact, a cohort study found that increased alcohol consumption was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Since alcoholic beverages are high in sugar, drinking too much can also increase your blood glucose levels which can damage the kidneys over time.

So it is best to limit alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per day and drink plenty of water in between.

3. Not drinking enough water 

Water is essential for all bodily processes, including circulation and waste removal.

But if you don’t drink enough water, your body cannot flush out toxins that can harm your kidneys.

This is why it’s so important to stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of clean water each day.

This will also prevent kidney stones from developing in the urinary tract system by flushing out toxins through urination.

4. Excessive salt intake

Consuming too much salt is another habit that can lead to kidney damage.

Salt is okay in moderation.

But when you eat too much of it, the excess sodium builds up, which makes your body retain extra water for balance.

This puts a lot of pressure on your kidneys and may cause them to fail or stop functioning properly if they are not healthy enough.

The best way to prevent this is by limiting your salt intake.

5. Overuse of painkillers

Over-the-counter pain medicines are okay in moderation.

But when you take too much of these medicines without consulting your doctor, you are at risk of causing kidney damage.

For instance, acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure, according to the NIH.

So if you are taking too much acetaminophen, it will damage your kidneys and liver over time until they fail to function normally.

It’s best to consult a physician before consuming painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin to prevent kidney damage.

6. Not getting enough sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is essential to the health of your kidneys.

When you don’t get enough sleep, it causes stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) to rise in the body.

This puts an added burden on your kidneys because they need to work extra hard when these hormones are released to keep your body healthy and function properly.

So it’s best to aim for at least seven or eight hours of sleep every night so you can give your kidneys the rest they need.

7. Consuming too much sugar

Sugar is another substance that can cause serious harm to your kidneys.

Not only does it provide excess calories that can put stress on your kidneys.

But high doses of fructose (the type of sugar found in most processed foods) have been linked to kidney damage.

This is because when you eat too much fructose, the liver converts some of it into fat which accumulates around the kidneys and may interfere with their function.

This is why it’s so important to limit your sugar intake.

And avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup which can be found in sodas, baked goods, and many processed snacks.

8. Overeating red meat

Eating too much red meat is one habit that can damage your kidneys.

Red meat is high in protein, which can put stress on the kidneys to filter out nitrogen-rich waste byproducts that are produced when you digest it.

This causes damage over time if your body cannot properly remove these toxins from the bloodstream and eventually lead to kidney failure or damage.

So eating red meat is okay in moderation.

But it is best to avoid eating large amounts of it every day so you don’t damage your kidneys over time.

Also read: 10 Foods That Are Good For Your Kidneys

Conclusion

Avoiding these eight daily habits can help keep your kidneys healthy and functioning properly for a long, long time!

In other words:

To prevent damage to your kidneys, it is best to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Also, avoid consuming too much salt, painkillers like acetaminophen, sugar in excess amounts, and red meat.

Additionally, make sure you get enough sleep every night and try to maintain a healthy weight.

Daily Habits That Can Damage Your Kidneys

Keep on reading: How to recognize signs of kidney failure.