Kidney disease is relatively common among people around the world. In the United States, according to the National Kidney Foundation, there are over 90,000 fatal kidney diseases each year. That exceeds the numbers of prostate cancer and even breast cancer. Taking care of your body and having a healthy lifestyle is important, also for the health of our kidneys.
However, many people have everyday habits that harm kidney health. Most of these things happen almost unconsciously and have crept in over the years. However, it helps to deal with how they harm themselves. You should reconsider these 21 habits:
1. You don’t take care of your body when you are sick
Colds are part of life. These can be more or less difficult. On average, we have a cold two to three times a year in adulthood. We often accept particularly mild colds and do not take enough time to cure them.
The number of antibodies produced by the body increases with the duration of the disease. These antibodies can cause kidney inflammation over time. These arise as a result of careless handling of our health. Going to work with a bacterial infection not only puts your colleagues at risk of being infected. It can also cause inflammation of the kidneys .
2. You use too much salt – instead of herbs and spices
Salt is the most important spice and must not be missing in any kitchen. Even in desserts it is important to add a pinch. As with food, however, it is the same with our body: too much salt is not good. Eating too much salt will damage the kidneys in the long run. The large amount of salt is excreted from the body via the kidneys, and at the same time too much water is released. This puts a lot of strain on the kidneys.
The water balance in the body should always be in balance. However, this is disturbed if too much water is excreted. With our current diet, we ingest too much salt. There is too much salt in finished products, in particular.
3. You are not following nature’s call
One of the biggest risks to our kidneys is our laziness. If we always push it to the limit until we go to the bathroom, we can do great damage. Of course it is sometimes not possible because if there is no toilet in sight we cannot use it. In all other cases, you should make sure that the urine does not stay in the body for too long.
Over time, the urine creates bacteria that must not get into the kidneys. They would do damage there. By the way, specialists see between eight and ten toilet visits per day as normal.
4. Processed foods are dangerous
We already pointed out in a previous section that processed foods often contain too much salt. However, there are other substances that can harm our kidneys. Sodium makes food longer-lasting and at the same time damages our kidneys. Phosphorus and potassium are also often buried. They are also not beneficial for our body.
The kidneys usually balance the potassium in the body. If you take in too much of it, they are quickly overwhelmed. The situation is similar with phosphorus. These substances are particularly dangerous for people with existing kidney diseases. Processed foods should be removed from your menu and replaced with fresh ones.
5. You stay up too long
You already know that adequate sleep is important for the regeneration of our body. At the latest after a restless night you can feel the effects. Sleep is not only important for our mood, the energy level throughout the day and general well-being. Our kidneys also suffer when sleep is neglected.
In sleep, the kidneys work on a back burner and can recover from the day. This also applies to many other organs that need to recover. If this recovery time is lost, the organs also suffer. Chronic insomnia can lead to chronic kidney disease. So make sure you get enough sleep.
6. Better leave out the cigarette
Smoking poses a lot of health risks. It can damage both the lungs and the heart. However, according to a study from 2000, this habit also affects the health of our kidneys. People who smoke regularly or have smoked for a long time develop kidney disease more quickly.
The creatinine that enters the body through smoking damages the kidneys. However, this damage usually remains undetected for a long time because this type of kidney damage hardly causes symptoms. So it is a gradual process that goes unnoticed. The shorter you smoke in your life, the lower the risk to your kidneys.
7. You are not following your doctor’s instructions
For many people, taking medication is part of everyday life. It is very important that you follow the guidelines for taking it. A change in taking or stopping the medication independently can damage your organs such as your kidneys. Drugs taken sporadically do not allow the body to get used to the active ingredients. Irregular intake is particularly dangerous with painkillers or blood pressure medication.
In the worst case, kidney failure threatens. This prevents you by maintaining the routine of taking medication and changing it only with the consultation of a specialist. Medications should only be taken if they are necessary. This is especially true for antibiotics that, if used too often, damage the kidneys.
8. They do not inform themselves about food supplements
Dietary supplements are both a curse and a blessing. They are very useful if we want to remedy a defect. If there is an iron deficiency, the doctor prescribes iron tablets and the deficiency is remedied. However, it is a fallacy that you no longer have to pay close attention to nutrition. A healthy and balanced diet cannot be replaced.
Another problem is that some supplements in too high doses can damage the kidneys. More specifically, they increase the risk of kidney stones. Even with previous illnesses, especially with diabetes, you should only take this in consultation with your doctor. It doesn’t matter whether the components are natural or chemical.
9. You drink too many soft drinks
Soft drinks like cola, fanta and iced tea contain one thing in particular: sugar. These drinks have no lasting benefit for our body. In the short term, we enjoy the taste and the ice-cold refreshment. The body then has to deal with the immense sugar intake in a short time. There are usually seven pieces of sugar in every 250 milliliters.
If that wasn’t enough. The phosphoric acid found in most soft drinks also increases the risk of kidney failure. It is therefore advisable to drink soft drinks at most once a week. Water and unsweetened teas are the best thirst quenchers. Juice spritzers and coffee can also be drunk in moderation.
10. You overdo it in the gym
“Sport is murder” is a saying that is often used by chronic sports people. However, a little sport and exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle. If you overdo it, you can harm your body. The phenomenon of rhabdomyolysis, also known as rhabdo, is caused by muscle building.
It can happen when too many muscles are injured. The injuries result from overuse. Enzymes are released, which damage the kidneys and in the worst case lead to kidney failure. Beginners are particularly at risk because the muscles have to build up slowly. Exercising the body too quickly and too much is therefore not a good idea.
11. You are not drinking enough water
Do you actually know what the main task of our kidneys is? They are responsible for filtering the water in the body. Basically, they detoxify the body by filtering waste materials and releasing them in the urine. So that the kidneys are always flushed out well, it is important to drink enough water. Otherwise the mineral content in the blood is too high, which can lead to kidney stones.
Experts recommend that you should drink at least two liters of water a day in adulthood. It is important to drink the water throughout the day. The body cannot absorb too much water at once.
12. Exercise is important for a healthy kidney
Too much and too stressful sport can harm health. Here again the phrase fits: “Too much of a good thing”. Sport and exercise are good for the body. You should adapt your sporting activity to your fitness level and take regular breaks . Regular exercise is also important for kidney health. Among other things, this improves sleep, which in turn benefits the kidneys.
Intensive training is not necessary, but a moderate exercise several days a week already serves its purpose. Walking, cycling, swimming or dancing are suitable. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and also benefit from the happiness hormones.
13. You eat too much butter
Everything tastes better with butter. No matter whether in combination with sweet or salty, for frying in a pan, in a cake or simply on bread. Is your mouth watering already? Unfortunately, we have to let your buttery dreams burst, because they want to have a healthy body after all. Too much butter can damage your kidneys too.
The saturated fatty acids are dangerous for your kidneys. Small quantities are of course allowed from time to time. In everyday life it is better to switch to margarine from unsaturated fats. Coconut oil is also a great alternative to roasting and baking. Of course, too much fat is generally bad for your health.
14. You consume too many energy drinks
Young people in particular love the sugar-sweet energy drinks, which are said to give you the energy boost you need for the day. For many, they are an alternative to coffee. Unfortunately, these drinks can cause immense damage to our bodies. They can cause kidney damage, especially in children. The large amount of caffeine cannot be processed properly, which leads to stress and high blood pressure.
The kidneys also suffer from this. Many of these drinks also contain taurine. It is an amino acid that can also damage the kidneys. Energy drinks should be used with caution. If you already suffer from kidney disease, you should avoid it altogether in order not to take any risks.
15. You eat too much red meat
Meat consumption has become the focus of discussions in recent years. However, this is not the point here. Rather, we are talking about the health of your kidneys in this article. Eating certain types of meat can also harm your kidneys. Excessive consumption can lead to kidney problems. The cause is believed to be the acid that the body produces to digest the meat.
Plant proteins, on the other hand, help repair and prevent kidney damage. If you don’t want to do without red meat, you should use vegetable proteins at least once a week. You are doing your health and the environment a favor.
16. You overeat
There are many reasons why you eat too much. Most of the time we eat more than we need to get full. If it tastes good, it will be difficult to stop. The portions are often very large and we don’t want to leave or waste anything. Many people also eat out of frustration. Too much food is not only stressful for the figure, but also for the kidneys. The body is overwhelmed with the mass of food.
The combination of fat, protein and carbohydrates is particularly bad for the kidneys. For example, a burger with fries is something you shouldn’t eat regularly. Now and then you can eat more, but it shouldn’t become the rule.
17. You have too much stress in everyday life
Stress is still an underestimated cause of illness. We always want to do more and show no weakness. We quickly forget what we are doing to our bodies. The kidneys also suffer from chronic stress and are prone to illnesses. The kidneys are damaged due to the permanently high blood pressure and persistent stress.
The quality of sleep and eating habits are often neglected in stressful times. This in turn leads to kidney problems. Of course, the psyche is a factor that should be in focus here. Mental health is an important part of a healthy body. To reduce stress and cope better, you should consult your doctor.
18. You sit too long
Back pain is a common disease of the 21st century. The only reason is that we sit far too much and move too little. The human body is not designed to spend the whole day at the desk. The kidneys also suffer from a lack of movement in everyday life. The more we incorporate exercise into everyday life, the lower the risk of kidney disease.
Exercise generally lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. The kidneys suffer from high blood sugar, which is the order of the day in many people. The stooping posture is also bad for our organs, because it pushes them together for hours.
19. You are consuming too many artificial sweeteners
New sweeteners are constantly appearing on the market, which are said to be a healthier alternative to conventional sugar. Of course, this saves calories. Unfortunately, the disadvantages of sugar substitutes are greater than the advantages. The sweeteners are usually pure chemistry and the body cannot process them properly. The kidneys are supposed to filter out the toxins and are overwhelmed with the many unknown substances.
It makes a lot more sense to get used to the sweet taste. Fasting sugar works wonders. After giving up completely, you will be less in the mood for sweets. Sweet fruits or honey are natural foods that satisfy our hunger for sweets without harming our bodies.
20. You take too many pain relievers
Pain relievers are becoming cheaper and are usually available over the counter in pharmacies. This also lowers the inhibition threshold in everyday life. Many people take pain relievers before thinking about the causes of the pain. Headaches are often caused by tension in the neck or caused by drinking too little.
However, you can do something good for your kidneys by taking as few pain relievers as possible. They are especially harmful if you take them on an empty stomach. They slow down the blood flow to our kidneys, which are more stressed than usual. With regular use of painkillers, kidney damage can result.
21. You eat too much sugar
We have talked about sugar a few times in this article. Soft drinks clearly contain too much of it. Unfortunately, sugar substitutes are not a healthy alternative either. The good news is that you don’t have to completely remove sugar from your menu. (Unless your doctor advises you to)
Large amounts of sugar cause the blood sugar level to rise too much and damage the kidneys. The damage arises from overload. Diabetes and kidney disease often occur together because they are mutually beneficial. However, both diseases are often discovered very late and are therefore particularly treacherous. By avoiding large amounts of sugar, you can reduce the risk.
In addition to the behaviors mentioned, there are many more that can harm the health of your kidneys. We have limited ourselves to the everyday factors. These behaviors should also be reconsidered if you want to keep your body healthy. It doesn’t hurt to think about your daily habits from time to time and to question whether they contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
The kidneys are important for our body and therefore one should avoid damage to this organ. Damage that arises is difficult to repair and mostly affects the life of those affected. If you feel that there is something wrong with your kidneys, you should see a doctor.