HEALTH: Habits That Are Harmful To Your Kidneys

Do you want to keep your kidneys healthy? Avoid these things:

1. Excess salt intake. High salt foods are high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure and eventually harm the kidneys.

2. High sugar intake. High sugar intake contributes to obesity which increases risk of high blood pressure and diabetes (leading causes of kidney disease).

3. Smoking. Smokers are more prone to have protein in their urine (which is an indicator of kidney damage).

4. Processed foods. These types of food tend to be high in sodium and phosphorus.

5. Excessive use of painkillers. Pain relievers may reduce aches and pains but can harm the kidneys. Minimize regular use of such drugs and NEVER exceed the recommended dosages.

6. Insufficient water intake. Water helps the kidneys to clear sodium and toxins from the body, and also helps prevent kidney stones. A healthy target is to drink 1.5 to 2 litres per day.

7. Insuffient sleep. Kidney function is regulated by the sleep-wake cycle. Ensure that you get enough sleep every day.

8. Excess meat intake. Animal protein generates high amounts of acid in the blood which can be harmful to the kidneys and can also cause acidosis (when kidneys cannot eliminate acid fast enough). Keep your diet balanced with fruits and vegetables.

9. Excess alcohol. Heavy drinking (taking more than 4 drinks a day) has been found to double the risk of chronic kidney disease.

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