Kidneys are crucial organs in the human body, responsible for regulating fluid balance, detoxifying the blood, and removing waste through urine. Even though kidneys are resilient, certain behaviors can cause damage over time. Let’s explore five everyday habits that can harm your kidney health.
Overuse Of Painkillers
Non-prescription pain medicines, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), can cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly over a prolonged period. These medications can reduce blood flow to the kidneys, leading to deterioration in kidney function. While occasional use is generally safe, continuous use or taking high doses can be harmful, particularly in individuals with kidney disease, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
High Salt Intake
Diets high in sodium can cause havoc on your kidneys, saysDr Arun Arora Flushing NY. Sodium is a mineral that helps balance fluids in your body. When sodium intake is high, kidneys need to work harder to eliminate the excess salt. This can lead to decreased kidney function over time and also contribute to kidney stones and high blood pressure, a leading cause of kidney disease.
Proper hydration is crucial for healthy kidneys as they use water to flush out toxins and waste products from the body. Chronic dehydration can cause kidney stones and, over time, lead to kidney damage. Maintaining adequate hydration, especially with water, promotes healthy kidney function.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of kidney disease, says Dr Arun Arora Flushing NY. It can damage your kidneys by causing inflammation, which can lead to scarring and eventually failure.
Smoking also increases blood pressure, which can cause blood vessels to narrow and eventually stop working altogether. This will cause your kidneys not to get enough oxygen and nutrients from your blood, which means they’ll have trouble filtering out waste products from your body and making urine.
Additionally, smoking can also increase the risk of cancers in the kidney.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a toxin that can put significant stress on your kidneys and liver. Heavy drinking, over time, can directly lead to kidney damage or failure, according toDr Arun Arora Flushing NY. It’s recommended to drink in moderation—up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy
The good news is that managing these behaviors can help keep your kidneys functioning well:
- Use pain medication responsibly, and only as required.
- Aim for a balanced diet that moderates sodium intake. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables while reducing processed foods high in sodium.
- Keep yourself well-hydrated, aiming for 6-8 glasses of water per day, more if you exercise or live in a hot climate.
- Eliminate smoking for an overall health benefit, including that of kidneys.
- Limit alcohol intake, drinking in moderation.
By paying careful attention to these behaviors, you can contribute significantly to maintaining the health of your kidneys, thereby ensuring they’ll continue their essential work of keeping you healthy. As always, it’s important to conduct regular health checks and consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice based on your specific health situation.