The feeling is familiar. You find yourself needing to go to the toilet but unable to. You don’t like using a public restroom at the mall. So, you resolve to hold it in until you get home. Or you have to attend to a customer and can’t go to the toilet right then. Many people hold in their urge to urinate until the very last moment before making a mad dash for the toilet. They do it for a variety of reasons. Some believe that it strengthens the bladder muscles. Others believe it helps them to put mind over matter. Whatever their justification may be, the ugly truth is that holding it in is bad for your kidneys. It can damage them over the long-term.
When the kidneys produce urine, they do so for the purpose of expelling and excreting toxins and other by-products from the body. Excess salt and other harmful substances need to be removed from the body as waste. When you ignore that ‘call of nature’ you do so at the peril of your kidneys.
The entire urinary tract is affected by a failure to empty your bladder when necessary. The toxins your kidneys were trying to flush may remain behind in the body when you finally go to the toilet. This can cause infection and other damage to the kidneys. In some cases, it gets so bad that the urine in the bladder can back up into your kidneys. This can cause infection as well.
It’s advisable to urinate as soon as your bladder tells you it’s time to go. If you find yourself urinating frequently or unable to control your bladder, see your doctor and get some help.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the ‘silent killer.’ Many people don’t find out they have it until it’s too late. Then the damage is already done, and it’s hard to reverse. When you have high blood pressure, your arteries and veins are pumping the blood in high volumes. This places pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. The blood vessels are damaged, sometimes permanently.
The blood vessels that lead to and from your kidneys may become damaged by high blood pressure. The kidney system is supplied with blood by a large network composed of many blood vessels. When high blood pressure damages these vessels, they cannot receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to filter the toxins from fluids in the body. Your kidneys also produce a hormone called aldosterone. This hormone helps to regulate your blood pressure. When your kidneys are damaged by high blood pressure, they cannot produce enough of this important hormone. A vicious cycle is created. It keeps perpetuating, with the kidneys becoming more damaged at each stage.
Low blood pressure, or hypotension, results in an inadequate flow of blood to the organs. This under supply of blood also affects the nutrients and oxygen that the kidneys need to function well. The result is often a heart attack, kidney failure, or a stroke.
Your blood pressure, whether high or low, is essential. You must have your blood pressure tested at least once a year, if not more. If you have a family history of blood pressure problems, take precautions and track your blood pressure. Knowing that you have a blood pressure problem allows you to treat it before it can do severe damage to your organs.