April 14, 2021
Healthy Living: The Importance of Diet and Exercise
- Family Medicine
- Wellness Institute
April 3, 2019 • Nephrology
Your kidneys play an important role in your body’s overall health. They help to remove waste and extra fluid from your body. They also remove acid to maintain a healthy balance of water, salts and minerals. Without a healthy balance, your nerves, muscles and other tissues in your body may start to not function normally. Thus, it is extremely important to keep your kidneys healthy. Below are common habits that you may not realize are harming your kidneys.
Over the counter medications, such as NSAIDs, are useful in alleviating pain symptoms. However, if not used properly or overused, they can harm your kidneys—especially if you already have kidney disease. Reduce your regular use of NSAIDs, be sure to read the instructions and never take more than the recommended dosage.
Foods and diets that are high in salt (sodium) can increase your blood pressure, which will harm your kidneys. Try flavoring your foods with herbs and spices rather than oversalting it. Over time, this habit will help you to avoid using added salt in your food.
Staying hydrated is beneficial for your health for multiple reasons, especially for your kidneys. Staying well hydrated aids your kidneys in their effort to clear sodium and toxins from your body. Drinking enough water is also one of the best ways to avoid kidney stones. Drinking about 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day is a healthy target for an average adult.
Everyone knows that smoking isn’t good for your lungs or your heart. But what you might not be aware of is the effects your smoking habit has on your kidneys. Individuals who smoke are more likely to have protein found in their urine—which is a sign of kidney damage.
Drinking more than four drinks of alcohol a day is considered to be heavy or excess drinking. Regular, heavy drinking has been found to double the risk of chronic kidney disease. Frequent smokers who also engage in heavy drinking have an even higher risk of possible kidney problems. Restrict your alcohol consumption back to less than four drinks a day to prevent kidney problems in the future.
The kidneys do so much for our bodies to ensure they are happy and healthy. The above listed are ways that you can start to help them and you stay that way.
“Your Kidneys & How They Work.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
“Kidney Disease: Chronic Kidney Disease.” Cleveland Clinic.
“10 Common Habits That May Harm Your Kidneys.” National Kidney Foundation.
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.