The kidneys are one of the most important organs in our body and our entire organism depends on their proper functioning. They’re positioned laterally against the back muscles in the upper abdominal cavity right beneath the rib cage and are ben-shaped in size.
These two seemingly unimportant organs are responsible for a number of processes in the body. Firstly they detoxify the blood, eliminate the waste material through urine and filter out the excess water retained in the body. Moreover, they’re responsible for regulating the calcium and phosphate levels as well as for secreting essential hormones which are later responsible for regulating the blood pressure and the creation of red blood cells. They are also vital for transporting oxygen and important nutrients throughout the body.
For optimal health you need to have excellently functioning pair of kidneys because if their function is disrupted it can lead to kidney malfunction and cause a number of health problems. The most obvious signs that indicate kidney malfunction are: change in color and amount of urine, dizziness, vomiting, anemia, respiratory difficulties, feeling cold most of the time, tiredness or fatigue, itchy skin, bad breath and sudden pain in the body.
Here are some of the factors which may influence your kidney’s function negatively, meaning you should stop doing them right away:
- Insufficient Water Intake
If you don’t drink enough water your kidneys may start malfunctioning. How are these two things connected? Well, one of the kidney’s main functions to flush out metabolic waste from the body and regulate erythrocyte production. If you don’t have enough water in your body your blood gets more concentrated and the blood flow to the kidneys gets reduced. This affects the kidneys’ ability to remove toxins from the body, which eventually leads to toxin accumulation in the body.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, you should drink at least 10-12 glasses of water every day (healthy adults) and this amount will be sufficient for the proper functioning of these vital organs.
- Consuming Too Much Coffee
The caffeine in coffee can damage your kidneys if it’s in excessive amounts because it can lead to hypertension and overwork your kidneys. This can have some serious consequences on the long run.
Kidney International published a study in 2002 study which showed a connection between excessive amounts of caffeine and kidney stones because caffeine increases calcium excretion in urine.
This doesn’t mean you should stop consuming it altogether, but consume it in moderation. The optimal dose should be 1-2 cups of coffee and 3 cups of tea a day.
- High Salt Consumption
Salt is yet another ingredient which could cause significant damage to your kidneys as well as damage your overall health. The kidneys metabolize about 95% of the sodium we take through food so excessively high amounts of it can overwork them and cause complications.
High sodium consumption makes your kidneys work harder to eliminate the excess salt. Consequently, this results in reduced kidney function and water retention in the body. Water retention, on the other hand, can increase blood pressure, which further worsens your kidney health.
Your daily intake of salt shouldn’t exceed the recommended dose of 5 grams a day, anything more will cause unnecessary strain and lead to further problems.
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol, just like anything else, is fine if taken in moderation. Excessive amount can lead to serious kidney problems. High amounts of alcohol can lead to uric acid being deposited in the renal tubules and leads to tubular obstruction. This increases the risk of kidney failure. Moreover, alcohol causes dehydration thus affecting normal kidney function.
A recommended amount of alcohol per day is 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women and seniors.
- Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is not just bad for your kidneys it’s bad for your entire organism. According to experts, every adult should get 6-8 hours of sound sleep every night. Anything less can have damaging effects on the long run.
While you sleep your organ tissues regenerate. Consequently, when you are sleep deficient, this regeneration process is hindered, which results in kidney and other organ damage.
According to studies on the subject, lack of sleep can lead to hypertension and atherosclerosis which increase the risk of kidney failure. Your kidneys will operate perfectly if you have healthy sleeping habits and a sound wok-rest balance.