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10 Habits That can Seriously Damage Your Kidneys You Should Never Ignore

We cannot continue to live and function without our kidneys – they are an essential part of life. These two organs work together to filter waste from blood to be expelled through urine. Kidneys aid in the production of hormones in order to reduce your blood pressure, produce red blood cells and regulate our body’s minerals.

It is crucial to keep your kidneys in optimum shape, in order to maintain good health. Before they even appear, smaller symptoms may be a sign that your kidneys have been seriously damaged. These issues commonly include bad breath, feeling cold, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, itchy skin and changes to your urine. In order to keep our body healthy, we must observe good habits! Continue reading to learn about the 10 Habits That can Seriously Damage Your Kidneys.

#The last habit will shock you, most people do it daily.

10. Eating too much salt

WebMD explains that sodium in large amounts or a diet high in sodium can raise blood pressure which increases the stress on the kidneys, leading to damage. When these organs are working overtime it puts you at risk for nausea, trouble urinating, pain and even kidney stones.

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9. Overusing painkillers

While they are safe in moderation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen and aspirin, can cause problems when overused. These are some of the most commonly used painkillers in the United States, but they must be used in moderation to prevent kidney damage or total kidney failure by regular overuse.

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8. Eating too much meat

Protein has the capability of creating an overabundance of lactic acid in the blood, especially when it’s presence is from consuming red meat. And while protein is crucial for maintaining a proper diet, you must remember to balance your meals out with fresh produce and other forms of protein, such as fish. Otherwise, over-consumption of red meat leads to issues like acidosis, where the kidneys aren’t capable of eliminating the acid quickly enough.

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7. Drinking diet soda

Although the dangers of drinking diet soda are well known, studies have shown that the average daily intake goes beyond 2 1/2 glass in America alone. Women who drink this amount of diet soda in a day are likely to experience a decline in kidney function by up to 30%, according to WebMD. In fact, a 2009 study proved that over 3,000 women showed a definite link in kidney problems and diet soda consumption.

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6. Not drinking enough water

In our fast-paced world, it is easy to get into the daily habit of drinking less water than we need to function. Water is a simple necessity, as our kidneys use it to expel both waste and toxins from our bodies. Your blood becomes concentrated, leading to a lower flow through the kidneys, whenever we allow ourselves to become dehydrated. In order to maintain a level of proper hydration, we must observe our urine with only a slight yellow tinge. The clearer, the better.

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5. Eating processed foods

Being high in both phosphorus and sodium, processed foods are a danger to our health. We discussed the dangers of a diet high in sodium, but did you know high levels of phosphorus are just as harmful to your kidneys, and even your bones? Individuals who already deal with kidney damage should take extreme care to monitor their intake of phosphorus in addition to sodium.

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4. Sudden, excessive workouts

Sudden increases in strength training at the gym may feel good, but it can lead to major kidney complications. Despite staying well-hydrated, a significant increase in training can cause muscle pain, in addition to dark urine. This is due to rhabdomyolysis, which is where your body breaks muscle tissue down too quickly, and dumps excess waste into your blood. You should consider seeking your doctor’s advice, should this happen to you.

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3. Prolonged use of heartburn medication

Prolonged use of popular heartburn drugs has shown a link between ongoing use and kidney issues. Proton Pump Inhibitors, or PPIs, create sudden onset kidney problems, regardless of whether a patient had problems with their kidneys before taking them.

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2. Too much alcohol

It’s perfectly okay to drink in moderation, when your kidneys are in good health, according to the National Kidney Fund. However, consuming more than four beverages on a daily basis doubles your risk of kidney disease. Even one binge session is enough to cause “acute kidney injury”. These risks also increase if you’re a smoker, which may be reason enough to kick both bad habits.

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1. Smoking

When you’re a heavy drinker who also maintains a smoking habit, you are five times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease according to recent studies from The National Kidney Fund. In addition to kidney problems, smoking leads to type 2 diabetes, blood pressure issues and more. Smoking also interferes with blood pressure medications, which also leads to damaging the kidneys.

The unfortunate downside to leading a modern lifestyle, are the consequences of these 10 common habits. If you are mindful to maintain an active schedule, remain fit, eat a balanced diet, consuming plenty of water, decrease your use of alcohol and cigarettes in addition to taking OTC medications when necessary, your kidneys will be less likely to fall under strain and cause problems.

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