10 things that damage your kidneys and why you should avoid them are important if you want to avoid your kidneys shutting down.
The function of the kidneys is to get rid of the waste products that result from the body’s metabolism, amongst other things. And one of the major by-products of the metabolism of protein (muscle) is urea. Thus, the kidneys remove the waste products by extracting them from the blood and sending them along the ureter to the bladder. From there the waste products are excreted in the urine.
In a situation where the kidney function fails, the waste products accumulate in the blood and the body. These very mild levels of waste product accumulation may give little or no symptoms. But if the problem continues, then symptoms will start to appear. These include weakness, tiredness, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, breathlessness, fluid retention, and loss of appetite. So to avoid getting to this point, 10 things that damage your kidneys are the most effective ways to avoid acute or chronic kidney failure.
Too Much Protein
Protein is essential to a healthy diet. But if your kidneys don’t work normally, eating too much of it can overwork them. Check with your doctor. You may need to reduce the amount of protein and phosphate in your diet. So eat small portions of different types of protein. For example, eggs, fish, beans, and nuts are all good sources.
In some people, too much salt can raise blood pressure and speed up kidney damage. It also may lead to kidney stones, which can cause nausea, severe pain, and trouble urinating. Therefore changes in your diet may be necessary and include reducing salt intake and avoiding foods containing a lot of potassium.
Smoking and Alcohol
Too much alcohol may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease. A single binge session of more than four or five drinks in less than two hours rarely leads to acute kidney injury. And when it occurs usually you don’t need dialysis. However, for your kidney health, it’s safer to stay within 1 or 2 drinks per day recommendation. If possible, shun alcohol completely.
Smoking not only worsens high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes but it can also interfere with medicines used to treat them. Likewise, it slows blood flow to the kidneys and can cause kidney problems in people who already have kidney disease.
If you drink two or more diet sodas a day, you may be more likely to get kidney disease. In one study, women who drank diet soda had kidneys that worked 30% less well after 20 years compared with other women. Even sugar-sweetened drinks are not exempted. These include juice and soda which are also linked to a higher incidence of kidney disease.
Your kidneys need water to work properly. But if you don’t drink enough water often, it can cause kidney damage. Also, you can tell if you’re not drinking enough water when your urine is sunset yellow. Normally your urine should be clear and smell-free.
It’s important to avoid certain medications, like aspirin, ibuprofen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This is because taking regularly large amounts of NSAIDs can worsen the conditions of your kidneys. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live through the pain. Hence, talk to your doctor about what you’re taking, and how much, to see if you might need another option.
If you use cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, this is the time to stop. This is for many reasons but most importantly illegal drugs are capable of damaging your kidneys in different ways. For instance, some of these drugs can lead to high blood pressure which is one of the major causes of kidney disease.
Be careful if you take anabolic steroids to get extreme muscles. These drugs can cause scarring in the parts of your kidneys that filter your blood. In addition, steroids make your body parts swell, make you lose protein in your blood, and you end up with high cholesterol.
When you have a strep throat infection, your body makes proteins called antibodies to fight it. However, the trouble is that extra antibodies can settle in the filtering parts of your kidneys and inflame them. Though it’s normally temporary, kidney damage may be permanent for some people. As such, if you think you have strep throat, see your doctor immediately.
Lastly, one of the 10 things that damage your kidneys is heartburn drugs. So beware of heartburn drugs you take in order to reduce stomach acid. Because they can cause kidney damage if you take them for a long time. Some studies suggest that taking a lot of heartburn drugs can make you more likely to get long-term kidney disease. If you’re concerned, ask your doctor for an appropriate heartburn drug that won’t damage your kidney.
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