Habits That Destroy Your Kidneys

By:Himanshu Sharma, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Jan 15, 2015

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Kidney diseases progress silently and exhibit symptoms only in the advanced stages. There are certain things that interfere with kidney function and it becomes important to be wary of these things to keep the kidneys in good health.
  • 1

    Taking Care of Kidneys

    Kidney diseases are silent killers. Before experiencing symptoms, most people lose 80-90% of their kidney function. In other words, most people have no symptoms until chronic kidney disease (CKD) is advanced. The signs of advanced CKD come up as swollen ankles, fatigue, decreased appetite, blood in the urine and foamy urine. There are certain things that interfere with kidneys function which is to excrete drugs and toxins from the body. Beware of these things to keep the kidneys in good health.

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  • 2

    Cigarette Smoking

    Smoke is bad for your lungs, heart and the kidneys. The aftermath of smoking on the kidneys is not well-publicized as it is for lungs. The studies suggest that smokers are more likely to have protein in the urine, a symptom of kidney damage. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two conditions that affect the kidneys, which are also compounded by smoking.

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  • 3

    Too Much Sugar

    Foods that are overloaded with sugar make things worse for kidneys. Eating and drinking lots of sugar is a harbinger for obesity and diabetes, both of which can affect the kidneys. Reduce your sugar intake for good; it can reduce your risk for diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. Another reason you can consider for cutting back on processed sugars is that you will be likely to lose calories, chemicals and sodium.

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  • 4

    Excess Salt Consumption

    Sodium can be detrimental to the kidneys' health. Consuming high-sodium foods can alleviate blood pressure levels which in turn can damage the kidneys over time. You may take care of your kidneys by cutting back on processed foods and keeping the salt shaker away. A high salt intake is a recipe for disaster, it can speed the complications of high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease.

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  • 5

    Liking for Protein Foods

    Kidneys are responsible for filtering a waste product called urea (a byproduct of protein breakdown) out of our bloodstream. Excess of protein in the diet can interfere with kidney function as surplus urea in the blood exerts more pressure on the kidneys. A 2003 study in the European Journal of Nutrition suggested that a diet rich in animal-based proteins could also increase the risk of developing kidney stones from uric acid.

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  • 6

    Coffee and Soda Love

    Carbonated beverages such as soda and energy drinks have been linked to the formation of kidney stones. A 2007 study showed that drinking two or more colas per day was associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Similarly, caffeine has been known to increase blood pressure and stress on the kidneys. A 2002 study in Kidney International suggested that long-term caffeine consumption exacerbated chronic kidney failure in obese and diabetic rats.

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  • 7

    More Pill-Popping

    Long-term use and high doses of certain pain medications can have a harmful effect on kidney tissue and structures. These medications can damage and reduce blood flow to the kidneys. Moreover, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have also been related to chronic kidney failure.

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  • 8

    Not Discussing Health Concerns with Doctor

    Imaging procedures, particularly those involving exposure to contrast dyes, can inflict damage to your kidneys. It is important for physicians to check your kidney function before you undergo any radiology procedures such as CT scans, X-rays and angiograms. The contrast dyes can cause serious kidney problems, including Acute Kidney Injury or AKI. For this reason, you must discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor before undergoing a procedure.

    (Image source:Getty)

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