Kidney damage doesn’t usually happen overnight. It is a process that occurs over several years as a result of some poor lifestyle choices and improper management of other conditions like diabetes.
As one study observed, the more bad habits you have, the worse it gets. Researchers found that test subjects with 3 to 4 bad habits dubbed “unhealthy lifestyle behaviors,” grew their risk of developing chronic kidney disease by 337 percent compared to people who had no bad habits.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol is extremely dehydrating, and an excess level in your body can cause your organs to be inadequately hydrated and hamper their performance. Alcohol is also a cause of liver disease, which in turn interferes with the regulation of blood flow to the kidneys.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Kidneys depend on the adequate flow of fluids to work properly. Staying hydrated is important to help the kidneys properly flush out the toxins from your body.
Not Urinating When You Need To
Not urinating often enough can be bad for your kidneys. Nature’s call is meant to be answered in a regular, timely manner and if you don’t, your body and kidneys, in particular, retain all the toxins meant to be expelled. Over time, this can actually lead to incontinence as well as kidney stones and other forms of kidney damage.
Eating Too Many Sweets
Having excess sweet foods like desserts, candy, and packaged snacks and sodas can be bad for your kidneys. A study confirmed that consuming too much fructose could bring a rise in uric acid levels and ultimately lead to cardiorenal disease.
Those with diabetes are already at high risk of developing renal problems; too much sugar in your diet can worsen this situation. Be sure to read food labels and pick foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber.
Not Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
It is important to keep track of your blood pressure since hypertension is a leading cause of kidney damage. Keep to the recommended levels set by your doctor and take measures to control any high blood pressure. The level is usually set at under 140/90 mm Hg.
Exercise is good for the body’s circulation and can help you manage conditions like blood pressure and diabetes. Overweight or obese people can cut the load on their body by exercising.
As one study showed, weight loss can positively impact renal function in severely obese individuals. For everyone else, exercise helps keep the body and cardiovascular system in good working order.
Not Eating Right
Eating healthy may not always mean you’re eating right when you have kidney trouble. If your kidneys are already strained, things change a little. Your doctor may suggest a diet that has less potassium and phosphorus. This means traditionally “bad” foods like white rice, white bread, and pasta suddenly become good for you.
Also, plant protein sources and certain animal protein sources like chicken and fish are easier on your kidneys. Heart-healthy foods are a good idea in general because they also help manage your weight, diabetes, and blood pressure. Certain nutrients like magnesium and vitamin B6 are good for preventing kidney stones.
Going Heavy On The Salt
High levels of sodium in your diet, whether in the form of salt in your cooking or more commonly through hidden sources, are potentially problematic, especially if you have a tendency for hypertension.
Many snacks, junk, canned, and packaged foods contain high amounts of sodium, so cut down on these. Opt for fresh cut fruit, vegetables, nuts, or homemade snacks instead. Limit sodium intake to under 2,300 mg a day.
Not Treating Infections Quickly
The next time you get the flu, make sure to treat it and take the complete course of antibiotics. One study found out untreated viral infections could harm your kidneys. The virus could spread and damage the kidney. Also, not taking rest if you have the flu, cold, tonsillitis, or pharyngitis could impact your kidney function.
Drinking Excessive Caffeine
One study proved that long-term drinking of too much caffeine would lead to chronic kidney failure because it increases blood pressure and puts a lot of strain on the organ. Another study revealed excessive caffeine could lead to kidney stones as it released a lot of calcium in the urine.
Not Sleeping Well
Sleep is vital for any person. It is during this time your body heals and renews itself, including kidney tissues. If you aren’t sleeping enough or the quality of your sleep is bad, it could block your arteries. This raises your blood pressure. Anything that raises your blood pressure can damage your kidney. So, get a good 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
Smoking adversely impacts your blood pressure. You also increase cardiovascular risk since smoking increases your heart rate, narrows the blood vessels in your kidneys, damages arterial branches, and causes arteriosclerosis in the renal arteries. These, in turn, stack the odds against you for kidney damage.