Posted on Jan 22, 2020, 6 p.m.
Kidneys are more important to health than most people realize, they filter our blood, produce hormones, produce urine, eliminate toxins, neutralize acids, and absorb minerals among other functions. Yet these important organs most often do not get the love they deserve.
Most often common habits can lead to damage of the kidneys, this damage or steady decline can often go unnoticed for years as these organs can still do their job with as little as 20% of their capacity. Kidney diseases are often referred to as being silent diseases, which is why it is important to take care of your kidneys and give them some love before it is too late.
One of the most important functions of the kidneys is to filter blood and eliminate toxins and waste materials. When we don’t drink enough water throughout the day these toxins and waste materials will start to accumulate and lead to damage in the body.
Most people consume too much salt/sodium which can raise blood pressure and put a lot of stress on the kidneys; it is recommended to consume less than 5 grams of salt a day.
Most people ignore the urge to go to the bathroom right away for a variety of reasons, but retaining urine on a regular basis increases pressure in the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure, and kidney stones as well as incontinence.
Too much sugar is not good for the entire body, those who drink 2 or more sugary drinks each day have been shown to be more likely to have protein in their urine, having protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidneys are not doing their job properly.
Many vitamin and mineral deficiencies can increase the risk of kidney stones or kidney failure, vitamins B6 and magnesium can help to reduce these risks, eating plenty of whole foods including fruits and vegetables is important to good kidney function and overall health. Estimates are that 70-80% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium alone.
Consuming too much protein can increase the metabolic load on the kidneys, having too much protein in the diet means the kidneys will have to work harder which can lead to kidney damage or dysfunction over time.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to many diseases including kidney disease. As you sleep the body repairs damaged kidney tissues, making getting enough sleep very important for kidney health.
Caffeine is similar as salt to the kidneys in raising blood pressure and putting extra stress on the kidneys, which over time can cause damage to the kidneys.
Excessive use of painkillers and other medications can lead to severe damage of both the liver and kidneys. In this pill popping nation too many people reach for drugs for small aches and pains rather than looking for gentler more natural approaches.
Alcohol in moderation once in awhile is fine, the problem is that most people don’t stop after that one drink and it is ingested more than once in awhile. Alcohol, whether you care to admit it or not, is actually a fully legal toxin, and among it’s known dangerous arsenal of detrimental and adverse effects puts a lot of stress on both the liver and kidneys.
To maintain a healthy mind and body it is important to consume lots of fresh whole foods, get enough sleep, manage stress, be physically active, and drink enough clean water; if you keep these habits in mind as much as possible your kidneys will be under less stress and your entire body will be thankful for that.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.