BY SAMINU MACHUNGA
Kidneys are an essential part of the body’s purification system.
For many reasons, it is imperative to take good care of the kidneys but several people are guilty of letting down this important organ.
Here are some of the common ways humans put their kidneys at risk.
Holding in urine
This might sound odd, but almost everyone does it. The urge often comes during a car ride, in the middle of a phone call, or when there isn’t a bathroom nearby.
Holding in urine on a regular basis increases pressure, which can lead to kidney failure and kidney stones. When nature calls, it’s best to listen.
Insufficient water intake
One of the important functions of the kidneys is to filter blood and get rid of toxins and waste materials that can harm the body.
When you don’t drink enough water, those toxins and waste materials start to accumulate, eventually causing severe damage.
High salt consumption
Regularly eating too much salt can also cause huge damage to your kidneys as well as other health problems. The kidneys metabolise 95 percent of the sodium consumed through food.
When salt intake is high, the kidneys need to work harder to excrete the excess salt. This, in turn, can lead to decreased kidney functioning, causing water retention in the body.
Water retention can cause a spike in blood pressure and increase the risk of developing kidney disease.
High protein diet
Consuming an excess of animal protein (especially red meat) increases the metabolic load on the kidneys.
The more animal protein one consumes, the harder the kidneys have to work, which can cause stress and lead to kidney damage.
Studies have shown that people who consume two or more sugary drinks a day are more likely to have protein in their urine.
Protein in urine is an early sign that the kidneys are not doing their job properly.
High caffeine consumption
Caffeine can raise blood pressure and put extra stress on the kidneys, just as salt can. Over time, excess coffee consumption (or caffeine consumption) may lead to kidney damage.
Drinking alcohol in excess
Drinking in moderation is fine, but excessive drinking can cause significant damage to your kidneys. Alcohol is a toxin that puts a lot of stress on your kidneys and liver.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is bad for almost every organ of the body, including the kidneys. Several studies have shown the connection between smoking and kidney disease.
Smoking increases blood pressure, reduces blood flow and narrows the blood vessels in the kidneys. It can even accelerate loss of kidney functions and worsen existing kidney diseases.
Regular use of analgesics
Many of us have the habit of taking analgesics (over-the-counter painkillers) to control pain and reduce fever and inflammation. But this can damage different body organs, including the kidneys.
Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to many health problems, including kidney disease.
The body works while sleeping to repair kidney tissue that may be damaged, so depriving the body of sleep makes it harder to heal.