Habits that can harm your kidneys

kidneys play an important role, they work 24/7. It filters your blood, removes waste, controls the body’s fluid balance, and keep the level of electrolytes in check. Interestingly, the blood of your body passes through your kidneys 40 times a day. That is why it is important to take care of your kidneys and safeguard them by making healthier choices.

The second Thursday of March every year is observed as World Kidney Day across the globe. A global awareness campaign, it aims to highlight the importance of kidneys for our health and to reduce impact of kidney disease and health problems associated with it.

From having too much protein to indulging in a regular intake of processed foods, there are a number of damaging behaviours which puts pressure on the kidneys leading to chronic kidney disease. Here’s looking at a few habits that may harm the kidneys:

1. Overusing painkillers

Over the counter medications, such as NSAIDs, are useful in alleviating pain symptoms. However, if not used properly or overused, they can harm your kidneys—especially if you already have kidney disease. Reduce your regular use of NSAIDs, be sure to read the instructions and never take more than the recommended dosage.

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2. Using too much salt

Foods and diets that are high in salt (sodium) can increase your blood pressure, which will harm your kidneys. Try flavoring your foods with herbs and spices rather than oversalting it. Over time, this habit will help you to avoid using added salt in your food.

3. Not drinking enough water

Staying hydrated is beneficial for your health for multiple reasons, especially for your kidneys. Staying well hydrated aids your kidneys in their effort to clear sodium and toxins from your body. Drinking enough water is also one of the best ways to avoid kidney stones. Drinking about 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day is a healthy target for an average adult.


4. Smoking

Everyone knows that smoking isn’t good for your lungs or your heart. But what you might not be aware of is the effects your smoking habit has on your kidneys. Individuals who smoke are more likely to have protein found in their urine—which is a sign of kidney damage.

5. Alcohol in excess

Drinking more than four drinks of alcohol a day is considered to be heavy or excess drinking. Regular, heavy drinking has been found to double the risk of chronic kidney disease. Frequent smokers who also engage in heavy drinking have an even higher risk of possible kidney problems. Restrict your alcohol consumption back to less than four drinks a day to prevent kidney problems in the future.

The kidneys do so much for our bodies to ensure they are happy and healthy. The above listed are ways that you can start to help them and you stay that way.

6. Eating too much protein
Animal protein generates high amounts of acid in the blood which can cause acidosis–a condition in which kidneys cannot eliminate enough acid, leading to detrimental effects on the organs.

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