10 harmful habits that are damaging your kidneys

Published on Aug 12, 2022 06:09 PM IST

Do not risk damaging your kidneys by popping over-the-counter pain killers, smoking, drinking or eating junk food. Here are all the deadly habits that are playing havoc with your kidney health.

It is important to exercise regularly, eat healthy, avoid smoking and drinking, over-the-counter painkillers and drink the required amount of water to keep your kidneys in good shape.(Pexels)
It is important to exercise regularly, eat healthy, avoid smoking and drinking, over-the-counter painkillers and drink the required amount of water to keep your kidneys in good shape.(Pexels)
By, Delhi

Your kidneys work round the clock performing important functions like removing metabolic wastes, acids and extra fluids from the body and maintains a healthy balance of water, salt and minerals in the blood. It is important to focus on your kidney health because if the crucial organ fails, one needs to be on permanent dialysis to remove toxins and wastes from the body artificially. (Also read: Kidney health in monsoon: Tips to prevent viral infections that may cause serious kidney diseases)

If you are suffering from diabetes or blood pressure, your kidney health would depends on how well you manage these chronic conditions. These health conditions damage your kidneys with time and may lead to renal failure eventually. Following unhealthy lifestyle could increase the risk of kidney diseases significantly. It is important to exercise regularly, eat healthy, avoid smoking and drinking, over-the-counter painkillers and drink the required amount of water to keep your kidneys in good shape.

Dr. Shri Ram Kabra Director Nephrology and Kidney Transplant Medicine Marengo QRG Hospital Faridabad says one should avoid these common bad habits that may harm your kidneys.

1. Overuse of over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications and body building health supplements might become a frequent cause of kidney injury. If you use them on a regular basis for chronic pain, headaches or arthritis, you are advised to discontinue them immediately.

2. Frequent use of excessive salts pose a threat to the kidney as they not only generate excessive sodium load but also cause hypertension. Therefore, it is recommended to focus on eating fresh, naturally low-sodium foods such as cauliflower, blueberries, seafood and healthy grains.

3. High consumption of processed food is dangerous. Processed foods are loaded with sodium and phosphorus. Patients with kidney disease should refrain from eating packaged food. Consuming high phosphorus, processed foods can be detrimental to the kidneys and bones.

4. Eating too much sugar can cause obesity, which raises your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, resulting in kidney disease. So cut down the sugar intake. Also, avoid regular consumption of biscuits, condiments, cereals and white bread as they all contain sugar.

5. Not getting enough sleep can be problematic. Sleep is an important time when kidneys regenerate its damaged tissues and a poor sleep-wake cycle may not only damages this organ, but may also cause high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, which in turn may cause a decrease in kidney blood flow.

6. Not keeping yourself hydrated can be harmful for your kidneys. You should drink an adequate amount of water to hydrate yourself as it not only maintains blood circulation of the kidneys but also helps in excreting metabolic wastes and prevents painful kidney stone formation. Patients with kidney problems need less fluid intake. But people with healthy kidneys should drink 3-4 litres of water daily.

7. Not exercising regularly is a sureshot way to develop kidney complications. Sitting for too long is associated with the development of kidney disease. A sedentary lifestyle can have adverse effects on kidney health. Regular physical activity improves blood pressure and metabolism, which is good for kidney health. If you are overweight, reducing weight is very helpful as it eases the load on the kidneys and prevent their early burnout. Do regular aerobic exercises with a 40- minute walk at least 4 times a week.

8. Eating too much meat can damage your kidney too. Animal protein is known to produce high amounts of acid in the blood which can be detrimental to the kidneys and cause acidosis. Acidosis is a condition in which the kidneys cannot remove acid fast enough.

9. Smoking is harmful to your health which includes your kidneys. People who smoke are more susceptible to having protein in their urine, which is a sign of kidney damage. Quit or limit smoking as quitting smoking can improve the blood flow of the kidneys.

10. Excessive alcohol consumption: High alcohol intake may raise uric acid generation and damage your kidneys and hence it is mandatory to cut down on alcohol intake.

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