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Habits That Hurt Your Kidneys

When people think of vital organs, the heart and lungs typically come to mind first. However, you don’t hear about the kidneys as often, even though they are also vital organs. Responsible for filtering blood, the kidneys help regulate countless substances in your body and safely remove waste. Problems with your kidneys can be just as serious as heart disease. Diabetes and polycystic kidney disease (PKD) are just two of many very serious illnesses that can be fatal if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy.

Not Drinking Enough Water

Water

Water is vital to pretty much every part of the human body, and kidneys are no exception. As filters for the body, kidneys function much better when properly hydrated. The kidneys take in waste products from the blood and using excess water, generate urine with which to flush out the waste. However, a lack of water allows toxic substances to build up in and around the kidneys, which compromises their effectiveness and leads to serious infections. It may even lead to acute renal failure. With that in mind, it’s important to keep them clean. Lots of water helps with this.

Avoiding Your Dr.

Avoiding Your Dr.

Regular check-ups can also keep you healthy, kidneys and all. Your doctor may notice unusual things with your blood sugar or blood pressure, which can point to issues with your kidneys. If you already have kidney complications, such as PKD or diabetes, it’s that much more important to keep track of your kidney health with medical professionals. Otherwise, see your doctor if you notice anything unusual, like blood in your urine, significant discoloration, or kidney pain. It’s true that kidney failure can go undetected for a long time, but regular check-ups give you a better chance of catching illnesses early.

Eating Too Much Sugar

Sugar

Too much sugar can raise blood sugar level, which can increase the risk of developing diabetes. This happens because the pancreas generates insulin to absorb sugar from the blood; however, over time, the body’s cells can become more and more resistant to insulin, and so the pancreas must create more and more insulin to maintain a safe blood sugar level. This affects the kidneys because when there is too much sugar in the blood for the pancreas to handle, the kidneys must work harder to filter it, taking damage in the process. Regulating sugar intake can prevent this from happening.

Eating Too Much Salt

Salt

Salt in excess is just as dangerous as excess sugar. Too much salt can dehydrate the body, which makes things tough on the kidneys. Additionally, it can raise blood pressure by weakening and hardening blood vessels. This makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. It can also pollute the blood, which also contributes to the kidneys’ workload. High blood pressure, or hypertension, along with other heart diseases can actually become a contributing factor for diabetes (and vice versa). Use low-sodium table salt or Himalayan rock salt if possible; better yet, drop salt altogether.