The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the human body. Known as the blood cleaners, kidneys act as a filter of sorts to keep the blood clean. They also manufacture hormones, take up minerals, neutralize acids, eliminate toxins, and produce urine.
This is a big list of responsibilities that should cause us to give full attention and love to our kidneys.
Kidney damage is widespread
It is estimated that over 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease and are unaware of this fact. There is no cure for chronic kidney damage, but the good news is that it is preventable.
An alarming truth is that damage to kidneys can go unnoticed for years until they are so tired that they can no longer do their job at all. Like heart disease, kidney disease is also referred to as a “Silent Killer”.
You might be causing damage to your kidneys and not even know it. Daily habits which may seem rather innocent can actually be slowly compromising kidney function, leading to severe and irreversible damage.
The good news is that developing healthy habits can help your kidneys do the job they need to do to keep you healthy.
Not consuming enough H2O
Your kidney’s number one job is to filter your blood and eliminate toxins and waste. If you short yourself on water, the toxins and waste can start to build-up in your body and cause damage to your kidneys and other organs.
Eating too much table salt
Although the body needs sodium and salt to function, most people eat too much salt. This can result in high blood pressure, which puts a strain on the kidneys. It is wise to stick to no more than 5 grams of salt on a daily basis. Be aware of places where salt hides such as dressings, sauces, and other processed and canned foods
Not peeing when you have to
We have all been guilty of this one. Your body is insisting that you have to use the bathroom, but you keep ignoring it because you are too busy. Holding your pee consistently increases the likelihood that you will develop kidney stones, become incontinent, or slip into kidney failure. Always use the bathroom when your body gives you the first sign!
Not getting enough sleep
If you suffer from chronic insomnia it can cause several serious health conditions, including kidney damage. While you are asleep, your body is repairing itself and patching up damaged kidney tissue. Not sleeping means that your body has little time to make the necessary repairs.
Too much sugar
Eating a diet high in sugar – that is more than 24 grams per day, causes proteins to build up in urine. Protein in urine is a sign that kidneys are not functioning properly and is an early sign of kidney damage.
Eating too much meat
Are you a heavy meat eater? A meat-heavy diet (especially red meat) causes the kidneys to work hard and can lead to dysfunction and damage over time.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
If you aren’t consuming a varied diet loaded with fresh whole foods, including vegetables and fruit, you may have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A number of minerals and vitamins are necessary for optimal kidney function, including magnesium and B6 which are required to keep kidney stones at bay. It is estimated that between 70 – 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium.
Caffeine raises blood pressure and puts undue strain on your kidneys. If you consume more than 2 cups of coffee per day, you may want to consider decaf or switch to herbal tea. Just like many things, too much caffeine over time causes kidney damage.
This is probably the one habit most recognized as being hard on kidneys. While a glass of wine or a beer once in a while is nothing to fret about, anything more than that can cause an issue. Alcohol is a toxin that puts tremendous strain on the liver and kidneys.
How to love your kidneys more
Besides keeping the above habits in check, be sure that you are eating a healthy diet loaded with fresh and whole food. Eliminate processed and fast food as much as possible.
-The Alternative Daily