Although it stands to reason that all organs are important, there are some that need more attention than others due to their vital role in keeping you healthy.
The kidney is one of those – acting as a filtration system that essentially prevents all the toxins from circulating in your system and damaging all other body parts.
Unfortunately, the kidney is not indestructible. With a bad lifestyle, your kidney could be damaged beyond repair and unless it is replaced, a non-working kidney can significantly shorten your life span.
So what exactly should you do to keep the kidney healthy? The first step is knowing what NOT to do. Here are the top 12 habits you might not realize are destroying your kidney.
#1 – Insufficient Water Consumption
Kidney damage starts with something as simple as not getting enough water in your system. Understand that juice, coffee, tea, as well as other drinks do not offer the same level of hydration as water.
These flavored drinks often contain sugar that taxes the organs more than it offers hydration.
Water however is basic and therefore provided no additional materials that the kidney must process but rather, it boosts the capability of the kidney to filter toxins as well as aid with the distribution of vitamins as well as minerals all over the body.
#2 – Smoking
Smoking is always in the list of bad habits that can damage the kidney – as well as any other organ in the body. In fact, smoking significantly increases the risk of contracting kidney diseases.
#3 – Alcohol
Alcohol stresses the kidneys due to the high amount of ingredients that the organ is incapable of properly processing.
Although studies have shown that moderate amounts of liquor can help the overall system, the keyword here is “moderate.” Ideally, you should drink no more than 1 glass or 8 ounces of alcohol a day, preferably wine.
#4 – Medications
Medications are full of ingredients that can cause kidney damage, especially when taken in high as well as frequent amounts.
The organ is incapable of processing all the unnatural ingredients, taxing its function and essentially making it difficult for the kidney to operate.
If you like to take drugs for even simple as well as tolerable conditions (headaches, stomachache), it is best to opt for natural methods first.
#5 – High Protein Diet
Protein is a good thing, but not if you consume them in high dose amounts. Ideally, men should consume only 56 grams per day while women are allowed 46 grams within 24 hours.
Too much of these and the metabolic capacity of the kidney is compromised, making it harder for the organ to process everything that passes through.
#6 – Couch Potato
You do not need to exercise for two to three hours a day in order to protect your kidney.
In some cases, even just 5 minutes of extensive exercise can ensure that your kidney is getting proper protection. Studies show that individuals who exercise have lower chances of getting kidney stones.
Essentially, being overweight is also a risk factor in kidney disease so exercise is a must.
#7 – Insomnia
Long nights of staying awake stress the whole body and not just the kidneys. Keep in mind that sleep is the body’s way of recharging itself, giving the organs sufficient time to regroup and get the energy they need to continue functioning the next day.
With insufficient sleep therefore, you will be draining your kidney as well as other organs of the capacity to do their job correctly.
This leads to some toxins passing through the filtration system and circulating in your blood stream, causing health issues.
#8 – Indulgence in Salt and Sugar
Salt as well as sugar are both good for the body, but in high doses, they can cause processing problems for the kidney.
Ideally, you should only consume around 2300 mg of salt per day. Consistent high intake can lead to high blood pressure as well as chronic kidney disease. As for sugar, you only need around 150 calories for men and 100 calories for women every day.
That is equivalent to 9 and 6 teaspoons respectively. Be aware that most food items today are loaded with these two ingredients so read labels!
#9 – Delaying Urine Release
Never deny yourself the need to go to the bathroom. There have been reports of a woman who tried to hold in her pee to win a contest and ended up dead.
See, urine is the body’s way of expelling bacteria and by holding it for long periods of time; you are actually allowing the bacteria to breed instead of pushing them all out at once.
When they breed, there is a good chance that they will go to other body organs with the kidney being one of the nearest places to settle.
#10 – Diet Deficiencies
To be fair, all the organs will benefit from regular consumption of a balanced meal. The kidney, on the other hand, likes this more than most because:
(1) it manages to absorb the useful vitamins as well as minerals and (2) it is tasked with the job of separating the good part from the bad part.
A well-balanced diet means that the kidney is getting lots of nutrients without being too worked up with the amount of toxins it has to filter. More specifically, you need to aim for a diet with lots of magnesium.
#11 – Ignoring Cold and Flu
Studies show that frequently felt flu as well as cold problems are indicators of a possibly underlying health problem.
It is usually best to consult a doctor if you feel as though you are getting more than your share of these “every day” bacteria or viruses.
It could be an indication of any vulnerability caused by toxin build up due to insufficient kidney function.
#12 – Ignoring Symptoms
Aside from cold and flu, there are also other health problems that signal kidney problems. If you happen to experience any of these, do not ignore them.
The kidney is resilient and the body is capable of self healing but only if it does not reach a certain point.
Following are the symptoms of having the ailment:
- Changes in urine color
- Loss of breath
- Bad breath
- Leg and waist pain
- Frequent feelings of coldness
- Itchy skin