Habits and Foods that are Actually Damaging the Kidneys
48. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are potassium-rich vegetables.
Just one medium-sized baked potato (156 g) contains 610 mg of potassium, whereas one average-sized baked sweet potato (114 g) contains 541 mg of potassium. Fortunately, some high-potassium foods, including potatoes and sweet potatoes, can be soaked or leached to reduce their potassium contents. Cutting potatoes into small, thin pieces and boiling them for at least 10 minutes can reduce the potassium content by about 50%. Potatoes that are soaked in water for at least 4 hours before cooking are proven to have an even lower potassium content than those not soaked before cooking. This method is known as “potassium leaching,” or the “double cook method.
However, not all is bad news for potato and sweet potato lovers. According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology in June 2005, eating sweet potatoes can lower kidney cancer risk. They showed that Japanese people who would consume sweet potatoes regularly were less likely to die of cancer. It is important to ask your doctor if you have any problems, like a history of calcium-oxalate kidney stones, before taking them out of your diet or adding just a bit to it. They may prescribe a diet low on phosphorus, sodium, and potassium.
47. Apricots are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber.
Same as the other fruits and veggies on this list, apricots are very high in potassium. One cup of fresh apricots has approximately 427 mg of potassium. What’s more, the potassium content is even more concentrated in dried apricots with only five halves. It can be as high as two medium raw apricots. One cup of dried apricots provides over 1,500 mg of potassium. That means that just 1 cup of dried apricots provides 75% of the 2,000-mg low potassium restriction. It’s best to avoid apricots, and most importantly, dried apricots, on a renal diet.
Apricots canned in their fruit juice have less potassium and are safer to eat for kidney problems. If you still have the cravings for high potassium vegetables and fruits, there is always an alternative, like leaching, which is a process where you pull out some of the potassium of the fruit or vegetable. Fruits and vegetables are essential in your daily meals. They contain a mineral called potassium. As kidney disease progresses, potassium in the blood may start to rise. That is because the kidneys are not able to remove extra potassium. It can be dangerous.
Considering their potassium content, they may not fit the guidelines of a renal diet. They can either be served raw or stewed and are often used to make sauces. Just 1 cup of tomato sauce can contain upwards of 900 mg of potassium. Unfortunately, for those on a renal diet, tomatoes are very commonly used in many dishes. Choosing an alternative with lower potassium content depends on taste preference. It is believed that tomato seeds can also lead to the formation of kidney stones. However, swapping tomato sauce for a roasted red pepper sauce can be equally delicious and provide less potassium per serving.
Tomatoes contain oxalate, but the amount is relatively low and cannot lead to the formation of a kidney stone. One hundred grams of tomatoes contain only 5 grams of oxalate. If tomatoes were harmful, then people diagnosed with kidney stones would have been advised to shun its consumption completely. While tomatoes have many benefits, eating too many of them could cause you some problems. One of these is acid reflux, reports FOOD NDTV. Tomatoes contain malic acid and citric acid, and consuming too much of these could make your stomach too acidic and cause heartburn or acid reflux.
45. Dates, raisins, and prunes are bad for kidneys.
Nutrients become concentrated when fruits are dried. Therefore, the potassium content of dried fruit, including dates, prunes, and raisins, is exceptionally high and should be avoided on a renal diet. Dates, raisins, and prunes are common dried fruits. When fruits become dried, it concentrates all of their nutrients, including potassium. For example, 1 cup of prunes provides 1,274 mg of potassium, which is nearly five times the potassium amount found in 1 cup of its raw counterpart, plums. Just four dates offer 668 mg of potassium. Given the outrageous amount of potassium in these common dried fruits, it’s best to go without them while on a renal diet to ensure your potassium levels remain favorable.
Since they are in the ‘High Potassium Group,’ do not eat these foods every day and keep portions small. Instead, try Cranberries. They benefit both the urinary tract and kidneys. These tiny, tart fruits contain phytonutrients called A-type proanthocyanidins. They prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract and bladder lining, thus preventing infection. It helps those with kidney disease, as they have an increased risk of urinary tract infections. You can eat cranberries dried, cooked, fresh, or as a juice. They are very low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. One cup (100 grams) of fresh cranberries contains.
Many people like to enjoy a fresh glass of orange juice with breakfast. Its citrus nature can be the wake-up call some need to start their day. Not only is it delicious, but it has many nutritional attributes. Drinking juices like orange can help the body consume vitamins and minerals that we need without filling you up with solids. It is recommended for adults to eat at least 2 cups of fruits a day to be healthy. However, can you still enjoy your morning juice once you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and given a renal diet to follow? Let’s find out!
While oranges and orange juice are arguably most well known for their vitamin C contents, they’re also rich in potassium sources. One large orange (184 grams) provides 333 mg of potassium. Not to mention, there is 473 mg of potassium in 1 cup (240 mL) of orange juice. Given their potassium content, oranges and orange juice likely need to be avoided or limited on a renal diet. Grapes, apples, and cranberries, as well as their respective juices, are all excellent substitutes for oranges and orange juice, as they have lower potassium contents. It is still important to always keep the consumption balanced.
43. Pickles, olives, and relish are not healthy for kidneys.
When your kidneys are not healthy, extra sodium and fluid build up in your body. That can cause swollen ankles, puffiness, a rise in blood pressure, shortness of breath, and fluid around your heart and lungs. Pickles, processed olives, and relish are all examples of cured or pickled foods. Usually, large amounts of salt are added during the curing or pickling process. For instance, one pickle spear can contain more than 300 mg of sodium. Likewise, there is 244 mg of sodium in 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish. Processed olives also tend to be salty, as they’re cured and fermented to taste less bitter. Five green pickled olives provide about 195 mg of sodium, which is a significant portion of the daily amount in only a small serving.
Many grocery stores stock reduced-sodium varieties of pickles, olives, and relish, containing less sodium than the traditional varieties. However, even reduced-sodium options can still be high in sodium, so you will always want to watch your portions. Most Americans have too much sodium in their diet. A healthy diet should include no more than 2300mg of sodium per day. There are many herbs and spices that you can use to add flavor to your food instead of salt. Also, certain foods have more sodium than others. See the following table for some suggestions on how to reduce sodium in your diet. Like Fresh garlic, fresh onion, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, lemon juice, low-sodium/salt-free seasoning blends, and vinegar.
42. Spinach provides a lot of benefits to the body.
It cannot be denied that spinach is one of the favorite foods for most people. Some advantages of eating them include nutrients, fiber content, and minerals. The fiber plays a significant role in the digestive system by providing the bulk necessary to prevent constipation. However, spinach has a high content of a compound called oxalate. This compound is harmful to the kidneys. It binds to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron before being excreted. A cup of spinach has around 140-290 mg of potassium. Cooking it won’t do anything to lower the mg, and since it shrinks to 1 tablespoon, it can mean that you might eat more to feel satisfied.
Lastly, it concluded that higher vitamin C was linked to higher levels. Reducing intake of oxalate in spinach can help you to prevent a medical condition. When hyperoxaluria is related to increased gut absorption of oxalate, restriction of oxalate is helpful to your kidneys. You will need to avoid eating spinach. Studies have shown that 50 percent of individuals with idiopathic hyperoxaluria and medical history of kidney stones can reduce urinary oxalate. That can be decreased to normal levels by avoiding spinach. Moderating the spinach intake, especially for people with a sensitive renal system, is essential since it can increase the chance of kidney stones and eventually kidney damage.
Did you know that including too much meat in your diet can put you at a higher risk of kidney disease? A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that investigated the long-term effects of red meat consumption discovered a correlation between red meat intake and increased risk of kidney failure. The study, conducted by Dr. Woon-Puay Koh, followed 63,257 adults in Singapore for an average of 15.5 years and found that people consuming the highest amounts of red meat had a 40% increased risk of developing the end-stage renal disease (ESRD). When eaten in excess, red meat can produce waste products that damage kidney filtration and harm our health.
The protein found in red meat produces by-products that can put added stress on kidney function, and when these proteins are broken down, it releases a compound called urea. Too much urea can build up and contribute to kidney damage, especially if your kidneys are already weak. Red meats like beef, pork, and lamb also contain more saturated fats and cholesterol than other types of meat, which can raise cholesterol levels, worsen heart disease, and increase renal artery disease risk. To avoid any trouble, Dr. Koh suggests limiting the amount of red meat consumed weekly by substituting meat with fish/shellfish and poultry or switching to plant-based protein alternatives like soy and legumes. Alternatively, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating only 18 ounces of red meat per week.
40. Alcohol is considered the most socially acceptable drug.
It is technically a depressant, which means it slows down your brain and affects how it sends and receives messages. Alcohol can also severely damage your kidneys by changing the way they function. Drinking alcohol frequently can increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which can be a precursor to kidney disease and lead to eventual kidney failure. Moderate alcohol consumption is not necessarily a risk to healthy kidneys, but the damage can be extensive for those who have onset kidney problems. Alcohol has many other harmful effects, like making it harder for the kidneys to filter the blood.
A study published in the Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation Journal discusses the effects of alcohol and the potential for chronic kidney disease. Aside from damage to your kidneys, excessive alcohol consumption also puts you at a higher risk of hypertension and stroke. According to the National Kidney Foundation, over four alcoholic drinks a day can hurt your health and worsen kidney disease. When the alcohol dehydrates your body, it can affect the function of cells and other organs. Though further research is needed, it’s still better to err on the side of caution and limit the amount of alcohol you ingest.
39. Salt is essential for our health, but beware of these issues.
It helps regulate our blood pressure, control fluid balance, and helps our muscles and nerves function correctly. Salt can remedy heatstroke, soothe sore throats, and treat tooth and gum issues. Nevertheless, even though it’s an integral part of our diet, too much can cause a lot of damage. Table salt is a ubiquitous staple in many households all over the world but is considered by most to be the least healthy type of salt. Table salt is a manufactured form of salt. Comprised mostly of sodium chloride, it’s like natural sea salt, but it’s made by taking natural salt and cooking it at 1200℉, which strips it of all the crucial minerals.
Many additives are found in table salts, such as synthetic chemicals like iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, and anti-caking agents, and toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminum. Diets high in table salt increase the chances of developing renal stones and worsen health issues like diabetes and obesity. Continuing to ingest high volumes might cause kidney and liver problems, hypertension, heart disease, water retention, stroke, and heart failure. The general recommendation of daily salt intake is only six grams or one teaspoon. With today’s processed foods and soda beverages, it’s effortless to go over that recommended amount. It requires vigilance to ensure you eat as organically as possible because the less processed a product is, the less table salt it will have.
38. Caffeine is a natural stimulant but excessive amounts can cause a lot of damage.
Many foods and drinks contain caffeine, like coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers caffeine to be both a drug and food additive, and it is likely to be the world’s most popular stimulant. According to the 2013 online survey conducted by the National Coffee Association, over 587 million coffee cups are drunk per year in the US alone. However, even though caffeine is a popular pick-me-up, there can be detrimental side effects. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it speeds up the central nervous system, making the brain send and receive messages at a faster rate than usual.
Excessive amounts can cause increased body temperature, high blood pressure, dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations, jitters, restlessness, and insomnia. You can find caffeine in many things, from soda beverages to prescription medication. When ingested, it can cause the kidneys to become dehydrated, making them work harder to pump out more fluids. Caffeine also stimulates blood flow, which places additional stress on the kidneys, increasing blood pressure. Though caffeine has many health benefits, such as weight loss, added alertness, higher brain function, and better cognitive thinking, experts say around 200-300 milligrams of caffeine each day is enough. Furthermore, when tracking your caffeine intake, keep in mind that it applies to all foods and drinks that include caffeine – not just coffee.
37. Artificial sweeteners may be essential for some, but it’s best to know the side effects.
Artificial sweeteners have been around since the 1800s. There are many types of artificial sweeteners these days, including aspartame, found in Equal and NutraSweet. Sucralose is in Splenda, whereas acesulfame is in Sunette and Equal Spoonful. In Sweet’ N Low, you can find saccharin. Perfect Sweet has xylitol. They consider these sweeteners as being non-nutritive. That means they have no calories and are utterly void of any nutrition. Commonly added to many processed foods and drinks, they’re also hiding in many other products like toothpaste and mouthwash, chewable vitamins and gum, cough syrup, salad dressing, frozen yogurt, candy, breakfast cereals, and processed snacks.
Artificial sweeteners are highly addictive. Too much can cause headaches, migraines, weight gain, and increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A diet high in sugars and sweeteners also puts you at risk of dental problems like cavities and tooth decay. Research published by the National Center for Biotechnology found that two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda are associated with increased chances of a decline in women’s kidney function. To avoid this risk, it’s vital to avoid soda beverages and processed, highly refined foods as much as possible. Furthermore, instead of using artificial sweeteners, use nature’s sugars like maple syrup, raw honey, stevia, and coconut sugar.
36. Dairy Products can be a good source of many natural essentials but animal proteins can cause issues too.
Dairy products contain nutrients like protein, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, though many research advances are finding dairy products are doing us more harm than good. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus help build strong bones and muscles, but if you’re already at risk of kidney disease, a build-up of these minerals can cause high levels in the blood, which can increase the risk of bone and heart disease. Many other dairy products like cheese, ice cream, and butter can also contribute to high cholesterol levels and increase cardiovascular disease risk.
Research published by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc. has linked the use of dairy products with the occurrence of insulin-dependent diabetes. Milk contains animal proteins, which are highly acidic and increases calcium secretion into the urine. When this occurs, the body must take calcium from our bones to neutralize the acid in our system. Not only does this cause our bones to weaken, but it also puts an enormous amount of pressure on our kidneys. So, for the good of your kidneys and overall health, instead of dairy products, aim to gain equal or more nutrition from other dairy-free sources.
Carbonated beverages are drinks infused with carbon dioxide gas. It’s this pressurization of carbon dioxide that creates the bubbles and fizzing that makes these drinks so refreshing, but drinking too many might increase blood pressure, reduce kidney function and heighten the risk of developing kidney stones. Research has found a link between the high sugar content of fizzy drinks and cancer, with one study suggesting that drinking two soda drinks a week increases the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas, which can double the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas that helps move sugar from food and drink into the bloodstream, where it’s then used by cells and turned into energy. High insulin levels in the blood can lead to several serious health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Frequent consumption of carbonated beverages can also raise the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and cause liver damage, premature aging, and obesity. These drinks can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar in each individual can, and artificial sweeteners and caffeine. Luckily, you can kick the soda habit by substituting them with other types of beverages like fruit-infused water, coconut water, green tea, or lemon/lime water. Moreover, if none of those are appealing, try a glass of red wine – it’s still a healthier alternative.
According to data published by the National Kidney Foundation, smoking cigarettes causes 1 in 5 deaths in the US every year. It is thought to be the most preventable risk factor for many harmful diseases and illnesses. One cigarette alone contains over 4800 chemicals, and 69 of those are known carcinogens. Not only are smokers at a much higher risk of various types of cancer like lung, bladder, and mouth cancers, smoking also increases the risk of lung and heart disease, as well as pregnancy complications, stroke, and kidney problems. Smoking harms the kidneys by increasing blood pressure and heart rate, creating added stress on kidney function.
It also reduces blood flow, narrows blood vessels, and damages the arterioles – delicate branches of the arteries. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the risk of diabetes was higher in smokers than in non-smokers. Smoking slows blood flow to all major organs, and it can also negatively affect medicines used to treat high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney disease. Furthermore, it’s not just the smokers who are at risk. Second-hand smoke exposure kills almost 50,000 people each year in the US. To benefit yourself and those around you, it’s best to take steps towards quitting for good.
33. Genetically Modified Foods can have deadly amounts of toxicity.
GMOs (Genetically modified organisms/food) are products of modern biotechnological constructs and organisms whose DNA has been modified in a way that would not occur naturally. Though this might sound similar to Frankenstein’s monster, it’s generally to allow the best parts of various foods to be crossed over from one organism to another or between non-related species. GMOs’ benefits include better food taste and quality and longer shelf life, but because GMOs are still relatively new, there are some uncertainties in terms of what harm it could do to animals and humans. GMOs go through rigorous standards to ensure they’re safe for human consumption, and according to the FDA’s website, they are as safe to consume as non-genetically engineered foods.
However, more research is coming out that is shedding light on the potential hazards of GMOs. A study conducted by Egyptian researchers found that rats were given genetically-modified soy were found to have deadly amounts of toxicity in their kidneys, liver, blood, and even DNA. To avoid the potential risks with GMOs, aim to buy food labeled 100% organic. When buying meat, try to purchase 100% organic grass-fed and organic eggs. Avoid processed food as much as possible, always read the labels, and ensure you know what you’re buying. It can be hard to avoid GMOs in this day and age, but with a little extra attention, you will accomplish it.
Our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water. The fluid is essential for many reasons, including the delivery of nutrients around through the blood, the replacement of fluid lost through sweating, and to help many chemical reactions that happen in our body. The human body can’t store water, and as such, it must be replaced daily. Most mature adults can lose almost 3 liters a day, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Signs of dehydration include dark urine headaches, tiredness, and lack of concentration. However, on the other end of the scale, excessive fluid can be just as harmful.
Drinking too much water can cause harm as well, hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication. It’s rare, but it can occur when large amounts of water are consumed in a short time frame. When this happens, the kidneys cannot excrete enough fluid to filter and flush out the water properly. Hyponatremia can lead to headaches and blurred visions, convulsion, swelling of the brain, and possible death. However, you’d need to consume many liters in a concise period of time for this to happen. The kidneys are the unsung heroes of the human body. Without them, we can’t survive. It’s essential to make the right decisions when it comes to the foods we eat and the lifestyles we lead to allow them to function correctly.
The vegetables contain the necessary nutrients for your body to function well. However, too much of these nutrients can be harmful. A few fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beet green, yam, and brown mushrooms have high amounts of potassium. The kidneys are capable of managing your normal potassium levels. However, they are not to do that with extreme levels of potassium. The amount of potassium in the blood is normally low compared to that within the various cells in the body. When the amount of potassium builds up in your body, they lead to a high blood concentration level.
The high levels of potassium in your body can cause cell damage, metabolic and kidney problems. The symptoms of the high levels of potassium are not easy to be seen. Unfortunately, when they happen, it will mean that the potassium is already at a significantly high level. Some symptoms include a muscular weakness that may lead to paralysis. The amount of potassium can only be determined when you go for a medical check-up with your doctor. If you have bad kidneys, avoid excessive amounts of bananas, raisins, prunes, collard greens, cantaloupe, tomatoes, potatoes, beet green, yam, and brown mushrooms. These foods may worsen your condition.
It’s normal to take painkillers whenever you are feeling pain. Most people take these painkillers without realizing the long-term side effects that they can cause. Over the counter, analgesics include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. These medicines are not dangerous to the body when taken moderately due to your medical condition. They can become damaging to your kidneys if taken over a long period. An increased amount can be fatal to the kidneys, especially when taken over an extended period. That occurs when you have a chronic problem that requires the drugs to be taken in. Most of the medicines that can potentially cause kidney damage is excreted through the kidneys.
That happens because the liver does not break them. It is the same when waste products are passed out through urine. Analgesic has been linked to two types of kidney damage. They can cause acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease known as analgesic nephropathy. However, these kidney problems usually happen when you are taking high amounts and over an extended period. For instance, research has shown that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause kidney problems. Each year, three percent of chronic kidney diseases are caused by taking too many of these drugs, such as ibuprofen. That applies to over-the-counter and prescription medications. These drugs can become harmful to your kidneys if improperly taken.
Fish is a favorite food for most people. It is an excellent source of the nutrients that are required by the body. However, some fish, such as sardines, have a high content of purines. Purines can be hazardous to the kidneys when taken in high amounts. The sardines have a high content of purine. It later develops into uric acid in the urine and, as a result, forms uric acid stones. Therefore, purine-rich foods may cause calcium oxalate stone in your body. If you are at higher risk of getting uric acid stones, the compounds can harm your body. A high level of purine can increase the amount of uric acid in the urine. That leads to the development of uric acid stones. This condition can be painful and will require immediate medical attention.
When you eat a high amount of purine from fish, such as sardines, it can lead to hyperuricemia and hyperuricosuria in healthy individuals without stones. They went further and associated purine-rich foods with stimulation of calcium oxalate. They explained that this was due to an increasing amount of calcium that was excreted. The good thing is that sardines are the greatest source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are essential to your well-being. If you like sardines, you need to limit eating them to once or twice a week. Other purine-rich foods are available, including anchovies, organ meats, bacon, scallops, shrimp, and baker’s yeast. These types of foods should be avoided if you stand a higher risk of getting kidney problems.
28. Exposure to contrast dyes commonly used in imaging.
When you go for the blood test, doctors conduct an imaging test to examine your blood vessels. They inject into the blood vessels a chemical called a contrast dye. It is used in cases such as in CT scan with contrast, coronary, or heart x-ray. That enables the doctors to see precisely where there is a blocked blood vessel. Furthermore, they can see other problems in other organs. It is a procedure that is very significant for diagnosis. It will be impossible to see exactly your problem if it’s not done. They use the dye to see what they will be treating you for. However, this dye can have serious implications for the kidneys. The effect of this dye is referred to as induced nephropathy.
There are various ways you can prevent this from affecting your kidneys. Ensuring that you strictly follow the instructions about drinking fluids before going for the tests will help you. Don’t delay to find out from the doctor when it would be suitable to stop taking certain painkillers. Some drugs can cause kidney problems by reducing the blood flow to the kidneys. Contrast dye also decreases the kidney blood flow, and these medications should not be used together. The kidneys are the unsung heroes of the human body. Without them, we can’t survive. It’s essential to make the right decisions regarding the foods we eat and the lifestyles we lead to allow them to function correctly.
A kidney infection is excruciating. Furthermore, it takes a long time to recover from. Your doctor will prescribe medication to cure kidneys that don’t favor taking medication. It becomes a vicious cycle, and getting a kidney infection to clear up may take some time. In the meantime, you’ll be left feeling uncomfortable and in pain. The quicker you recognize a kidney infection and deal with it, the easier and quicker your recovery will be. In most cases, a kidney infection is caused by a bladder infection. So, if you have a bladder infection, seek treatment before it spreads to your kidneys. There are several signs and symptoms to look out for. Often, a kidney infection presents with similar symptoms of a bladder infection.
You’ll find yourself urinating more frequently. Your urine will be cloudy and have a distinct smell to it. Blood or pus in the urine is another sure sign that you have a kidney infection. You may feel feverish, and the kidney area will be very sensitive. The longer you leave a kidney infection untreated, the more potential it has to cause permanent damage to your kidneys. Left untreated, such infections spread quickly, and the virus can attack the kidneys. When you have an infection, rest is essential for your recovery. Not resting makes your organs work harder to function normally and fight the infection off. The strain on your organs, such as the kidneys, can result in lasting damage that will affect your kidney function.
The National Kidney Foundation believes that exercise is critical for kidney function. Exercise lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. It aids with sleeping and muscle function. All of these factors help the kidneys to function normally. Exercise helps the body to process nutrients and fluids. These are the key jobs the kidneys perform. It is essential for people who are obese to exercise. Any weight they lose reduces their risk of kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Those with excess salt in their diet can benefit from exercise, and so can their kidneys. Salt causes raised blood pressure and affected how the kidneys function. The sweat that exercise produces is another way for the body to secrete salt.
That can alleviate the kidneys as they don’t need to process all that salt. A recent study into the incidences of kidney stones came up with interesting findings related to exercise. The study was conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and was funded by the Women’s Health Initiative. Eighty-five thousand women aged 50 and over, were monitored. Aspects of their diets, body mass index and exercise habits were scrutinized. After eight years, there was a link established between exercise and a lowered incidence of kidney stones. Researchers said that the intensity of the movement didn’t matter as much as the volume. It seems that any activity is better than none. People who exercise tend to make healthier food and lifestyle choices. All of these can be beneficial to the kidneys as well.
Sleep is vital for the whole body. It gives a chance for the organs, muscles, and tissue a chance to regenerate and recharge. The kidneys are no different. They use the ‘downtime’ while sleeping to process excess fluids and rest before the next day’s activities. The circadian clock is the body’s biorhythm pattern that distinguishes between sleep and wakefulness. The kidney is programmed to function differently during the night as the demands on it are different. It seems that there is a correlation between declining kidney function and a lack of sleep in women. A study was conducted by researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Sleep-deprived women were shown to experience a more rapid decline in kidney function.
Those who got 5 hours’ sleep or less a night had a 65% higher risk of rapid kidney function decline. That was in comparison with women who were getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. What concerns academics is that, over the last 20 years, the average amount of sleep people get has decreased. About 20 years ago, an average night’s sleep consisted of 8 hours. In more recent years, it’s declined to 6.5 hours. Moreover, it’s expected to decrease even further. At this stage, experts recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. The study did not prove that sleeping longer improves kidney function. Nor did it establish whether changing your sleeping pattern to include more rest would reverse kidney damage.
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. Alternatively, 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 bathroom. 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 might 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 to expel and excrete 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 toxins your kidneys were trying to flush may remain behind in the body when you finally go to the toilet. That can cause infection and other damage to the kidneys. It gets so bad that the urine in the bladder can back up into your kidneys in some cases. It’s advisable to urinate as soon as your bladder tells you it’s time to go.
23. Not monitoring your blood pressure can have more consequences than you realize.
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. Alternatively, that has used a spermicide recently places pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. The blood vessels become 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 an extensive 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 become damaged by high blood pressure, they cannot produce enough of this vital hormone. 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 undersupply 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.
Canned foods, such as soups, vegetables, and beans, are often purchased because of their low cost and convenience. However, most canned foods contain high amounts of sodium, as salt is added as a preservative to increase its shelf life. Due to the amount of sodium found in canned goods, it’s often recommended that people with kidney disease avoid or limit their consumption. What’s even more worrisome is that, according to a study published in the Journal Kidney International, the lining inside food cans might increase the risk of kidney and cardiovascular disease at the same time.
The study compared the levels of BPA (Bisphenol A), which is used to make the epoxy linings inside the cans, with the protein albumin levels. Too much albumin can indicate kidney problems and cardiovascular disease. The study concluded that a high-level concentration of BPA in the urine is also connected with the albumin. Choosing lower-sodium varieties or those labeled “no salt added” is typically best. Additionally, draining and rinsing canned foods, such as canned beans and tuna, can decrease the sodium content by 33–80%, depending on the product.
A study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases found that sitting for prolonged periods daily can increase the chances of diabetes, heart attacks, and kidney failure, especially in women. The women in the study who spent less than 3 hours a day sitting were 30% less likely to have kidney disease in the future than women who spend eight or more hours sitting in a chair, no matter if the person is overweight or obese. It can also affect men, but with a lower risk, so it is still recommended for everyone to be more active.
It was also found that walking for 30 minutes every day can reduce the risks of kidney diseases, but only in men. Researcher Thomas Yates, MD, a senior lecturer on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and health at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, said, “It may be more important for women to avoid sitting for long periods in the first place. It is difficult not to be sitting, especially when working in an office, but it’s good to get up that office chair, walk to the bathroom or kitchen for a few minutes to keep the blood flowing and move around.
Juicing can be seen as a double edge sword; it’s an easy way to help you get the vitamins and nutrients that you need conveniently, keep you hydrated, allow the kidneys to work in optimal conditions, and has many antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and bloating. However, by replacing fresh fruits and veggies with juicing, there are a few things that might not help you keep a balanced and healthy diet, especially if you’re trying to replace a meal with a bottle of juice, and in the end, it can put your kidney in jeopardy.
Eliminating the pulp during the extraction of the juice means that the fiber of the fruit is gone. Fiber is essential to keep your system working and help you not get constipated. Plus, since fruit juice is a more concentrated version of the fruit, there are higher levels of natural sugars in it or carbohydrates, which don’t sit well with high blood sugar people. Certain nutrients like potassium will be higher, especially in fruit blends and green vegetables like kale and spinach. Having too much vitamin K can increase blood clots, especially in dialysis patients.
Pregnancy can be a wonderful and magical moment in any women’s life. For nine months, your body is creating life, and it’s crucial to take care of your body in this process. One of the things that might happen during this time is the condition called preeclampsia. Formerly known as Toxemia, preeclampsia is when the pregnant woman has high blood pressure, which can occur as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Some other symptoms are swollen legs, feet, and hands, weight gain because of retaining bodily fluids, dizziness, peeing less than usual and blurry vision.
There can be various causes for preeclampsia to happen, if a woman’s placenta is not working the way it should, or if the woman has very poor nutrition or obesity. Women with kidney diseases have a higher risk for this to happen, so it is imperative to have a healthy balanced diet before and during the pregnancy, exercise often, and no smoking. It is always best to regularly visit your doctor and watch for any symptoms since this can complicate the pregnancy and cause more damage to your kidneys.
Many people love a good quick meal from a fast-food restaurant when you’re not in the mood for cooking or with a craving for something from a vending machine. Nevertheless, the reality is that processed food can make things worse, especially if you have any kidney disease. Processed food has high sodium and phosphorous volume that will damage your kidney and bones, heart, and even give you type 2 diabetes. A lead study at the Anglia Ruskin University in Britain discovered that a diet high in fat and sodium like fast food could cause changes similar to a type 2 diabetic for a healthy person.
Dr. Anshul Jai Bharat, A Nutritionist from Delhi, says, “Junk food has too much-processed sugar, so when it goes to your system, it leads to hormonal imbalance and also your blood profile changes. High consumption of these empty calories can cause obesity and diabetes- diseases that directly impact your kidneys’ functioning. You can treat yourself to your favorite dessert or fast food burger sometimes as long as it does not replace your daily balanced diet” So you can enjoy that pizza you’ve been craving, but always remember to compliment it with healthy food to keep you at bay.
For someone with any kidney disease is a bit complicated to find the right thing to eat and to have a balanced diet, and choosing what type of bread is suitable for you is no exception. Even if whole wheat bread sounds like the right choice because of the high fiber content, it also has a few ingredients that can damage your system, and it’s necessary to be cautious about it. Some patients are more tolerant than others, so it’s always good to ask your doctor if you can enjoy whole wheat bread.
It is so dangerous because it has high potassium and phosphorous content, all depending on how much bran the bread has. Just one ounce or 30 grams of whole wheat bread has about 57mg of phosphorus and 69mg of potassium. In comparison, the same amount of white bread only has 28mg of phosphorus and potassium. It is also good noting that all bread, no matter if they are white or whole wheat bread, has a high sodium content, so it’s always essential to choose a low sodium bread before making your favorite sandwich.
Rice is a daily food in many households around the world and a favorite in a lot of countries and cultures. Nevertheless, for someone with kidney damage, it is better to be safe than sorry choosing which type of rice is good for you and what alternatives they are in the market. Brown rice is considered a healthy alternative to white rice for being less processed, and it contains a lot of fiber, B vitamins, oils, and necessary minerals. However, it also has a few things that might affect anyone who has kidney damage, so be on the lookout.
Just one cup of brown rice has 150 mg of phosphorus and potassium, while white rice only has 69mg of phosphorus and 54 mg of potassium, and as we said before, those two can be a problem with kidney damage. It can be eaten if you are on a strict renal diet, but it needs to be monitored and controlled by lowering phosphorus intake and potassium in other foods. There are also alternatives like pearled barley, bulgur, couscous, and buckwheat, which are very nutritious and with less phosphorus and potassium than brown rice.
Green salads can be a bit boring and dull without a good dressing on them to give it a nice twist to the taste of the greens, especially for picky eaters. Nevertheless, salad dressings like ranch have many ingredients that can be unhealthy, not only for people with kidney damage but also for anyone who wants to carry a low-fat, healthy diet. Ranch dressing has a high content of dairies like eggs and buttermilk, which helps with the creaminess, and phosphorus helps give it a tangy taste that is cheaper than lemons, and it helps it have a long shelf life than natural ingredients.
According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database, one serving of regular store-bought ranch dressing has 55mg of phosphorus, 19mg of potassium, and 270mg of sodium, which makes it ridiculously high for such a small dosage. Even if the phosphorus seems relatively low, it is known that commercially made dressings use additives that are easier for the body to be absorbed in the gut than occurring phosphorus. There are better and safer dressings for renal patients like a tangy Dijon, a raspberry vinaigrette, or honey ginger dressing to keep your salads tasting good and is suitable for you.
If you live in a low-temperature area, especially in winter, there is a small risk of having difficulty finding a warm place to keep you safe. Cold freezing temperatures can be a problem, especially for people with other conditions. However, what’s more dangerous in this climate is suffering from Hypothermia. This emergency condition happens when your body loses heat faster than it can produce, causing very low body temperature. Our average body temperature is around 98.3 F or 37C; Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops below 95 F or 35 C, putting you in a life or death situation.
When your body temperature drops too low, your organs like your kidney, heart, and nervous system can’t work correctly, and if it’s left that way for too long, your body will slowly start to shut down, which can lead to death. There are many symptoms to know if Hypothermia is happening, like slurred speech, shivering, drowsiness, confusion, and memory loss. It is essential to find a way to get heat, like standing in front of a fireplace, wearing warm winter clothes, and if your clothes are wet, they need to be removed immediately and replace with dry ones.
It’s always good to have a snack between meals, especially when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet. Moreover, sometimes, what your body craves are salty chips like pretzels, potato chips, or crackers. The problem with these is that some of them have a ridiculously amount of sodium and, in the case of potato chips, potassium, which in excess can damage your kidneys and even more if you’re a renal patient. It is always good to look for better alternatives that are low in sodium and better for you, and it’s a plus if they are also delicious.
One of the things that you also need to be aware of is calorie intake, but thankfully many snacks can ease your cravings and also keep your focus on the road to a healthy diet. It is always recommended eating fruits or veggies like carrot sticks, blueberries, and cherries, but if you’re looking for something more savory, a croissant, bagels, animal crackers, or rice cakes are a great option. Plus, there is always a selection of low sodium chips and crackers that will keep you satisfied and happy. So next time you go to the snack section at the grocery store, keep an eye on the nutrition facts!
As we talked about before, it is always important to keep an eye on some drugs that can do more harm than good, but what about illegal substances? Your body goes through a lot when you use drugs. Most of the metabolism occurs in the liver, but the elimination of waste happens in the kidneys, and when they’re not functioning as they should be, there are even more dangers that should be avoided. Individuals who develop a tolerance of some substances tend to increase the number of drugs they use, and over time, the toxicity and kidney functions decline.
For instance, cocaine, a central nervous system stimulant, has a high risk of kidney functioning. One-third of the people admitted to a hospital with cocaine-related issues develop acute kidney failure and can lead to renal infarctions. Opiates like heroin can produce fungal and bacterial infections if used intravenously, leading to kidney inflammation. An overdose with opiates can also lead to rhabdomyolysis, which can amplify the risks of kidney damage. The best to do is to stay away from these illegal substances and get help if you think you have a problem with them.
For most things in life, you always need a balance of how much your body can hold. Under-exercising can be harmful over time, but the same can be said to overdo your daily exercise routine. There are many things that most people do not know about overworking that can have permanent damage to your kidneys. A condition called rhabdomyolysis, also knowns as rhabdo, is considered rare, with only 22 out of 100,000 people can have it, but it is a dangerous one. It is better to be cautious when doing physical activities for long periods.
Rhabdo is a syndrome that involves muscle tissue breakdown and damage. When muscles are injured, a muscle enzyme is released in the bloodstream and can cause kidney failure in 40% of the cases, and it can harm the kidney’s ability to remove waste and urine. Other things can cause rhabdo, like dehydration, statins, drug use, and extreme temperatures. Maureen Brogan, MD, an associate professor of medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY, warns about cycling classes being a “health concern” for pushing users into having a rhabdo breakdown. So always remember to listen to your body and know your limits.
10. An untreated strep throat can complicate things.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel very sore, making it very painful to swallow, causes fever, headaches, rashes, and wellness of your lymph nodes. It is most common in small children, but mostly everyone can get it. If you get strep throat, it is crucial to have this infection treated by a doctor right away. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions, especially on your kidneys. It sounds crazy to think that a painful sore throat can cause a more complicated infection, but here we explain why it’s important to check for the signs.
The strep bacteria can also spread in other parts like the middle ear, tonsils, and sinuses. However, the most disturbing thing about not treating it is that it can cause scarlet fever, which is a rheumatic fever that is an inflammatory condition. It can affect various organs like the heart, joints, nervous system, and skin; it also causes post-streptococcal reactive arthritis and inflammation of the kidney called post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. Always remember to wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough, and don’t share personal items like eating utensils to protect yourself from getting strep throat.
It’s great to take care of yourself by taking supplements that can help achieve your health goals. However, it is imperative to clarify that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no control or regulation in doses, content, or pureness of herbal supplements. It is always important to ask your doctor if they recommend taking any herbal supplements. That is especially so if you are taking any other medications that might conflict and cause any damage. For a person with any kidney disease, taking any herbal supplements can be very dangerous, especially if it has any ingredients that your body can’t clear, which can cause a build-up.
If you have a kidney transplant, it can be hazardous to take supplements like St. Johns Wort, ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, echinacea, ginger, and blue cohosh, it might react with your medicines and it can put you in danger of losing your kidney. People with bleeding disorders, pregnant women, or lactating are also at risk. Some supplements like buchu leaf, Indian Sorrel, onion, and horseradish root are very high on phosphorus, so it’s something that should be on the lookout. Always ask a professional health provider before trying any supplements.
With only 10% of the population living or visiting mountainous areas, there’s a smaller chance of this happening to many people, especially those with renal conditions. Nevertheless, it is still possible that if you live or visit a high altitude area, your kidneys may present some problems. A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology shows a concern that “high altitude may accelerate the progression of chronic kidney disease”. Since oxygen levels in mountainous areas are different from being at sea level, some factors can have some effects on your body and organs.
Since the kidney is marginally oxygenated when being on sea level when put in the higher ground, there is a real concern that it may increase renal hypoxia and hypoxia-associated renal injury and might accelerate the progression. It is being investigated that the changes in ventilation, cardiac output, sympathetic nervous activity, and erythropoiesis are the causes for this to happen. In other words, the changes your body has while being at high altitude and the fluctuation of oxygen can affect how your kidney works, to the point of changing how it process the sodium excretion and the filtering of your blood. Next time you travel to the rocky mountains, remember to ask your doctor to make sure you are ready.
7. Women can face a higher risk of kidney infection during sex.
That is something that you might not learn in school. Research published in the Annals of Internal medicine shows that women younger than 50 years old who take a new partner and have intercourse more than three times per week have a higher risk of kidney infections. That is especially so for those that have diabetes, urinary incontinence, or a history of urinary tract infection. Also, it is worse for those who used a spermicide recently. It is widespread to get kidney infections, with a quarter of Americans getting it every year, so this study tries to warn women to be careful with the signs.
For this study, they interviewed 240 women from 18 to 49 years old with Kidney infections and members of a group of health Cooperatives. Most of the questions were about their sexual behavior, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and urinary incontinence, and they compared the data with 500 healthy women with no history of kidney infections. They found that women with kidney infections were four times more likely to have a urinary tract infection recently. Having intercourse more than three times per week increased the chances even more. The same can be said about using a spermicide. No matter what, always remember to have a healthy diet to make those chances lower.
Skincare is essential to keep your skin hydrated and radiant every day. Drinking lo water can help your skin but using face creams will help with elasticity and hold those wrinkles from showing up. However, sometimes products can have ingredients that might harm your body’s skin deep, and you might notice it too late. These products are being investigated, and most of them taken out of the market, but they are still chances that these might be in your beauty routine. The Food and Drug Administration is searching for these products, and here’s what they found.
The FDA found anti-aging creams, soaps, lotions, and skin lighters made in foreign countries and sold in the United States for Latino, Asian, and Middle Eastern neighborhoods, to have a highly toxic substance, mercury. Most are sold online and have been found in at least 7 States. Mercury can cause brain damage and Kidney failure, and just having a brief contact can cause lung damage, increase blood pressure, and skin irritations. So if you see a product with mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric, or mercury listed, stop using the product immediately.
There’s nothing more refreshing than a nice glass of cold iced tea in the hot days of summer. However, did you know that drinking too much can cause serious problems to your kidney? Well, this 56-year-old man learns it the hard way when he was brought to the hospital with kidney failure. The man admitted to drinking at least 16 glasses of iced tea every day. Talk about thirst! Doctors concluded this was the cause of the failure, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock decided to research the reason behind it.
They found that black tea is a source of oxalate, and high intakes can produce calcium oxalate kidney stones. Before this case, doctors couldn’t link the tea with Kidney failure. It was until they did a biopsy of the kidney that they discovered how much damage it can do. It is still being investigated, but it is highly believed that oxalate-containing foods can cause kidney stones, and if it’s not treated, it can worsen. Oxalate can be found in various food and drinks like dark beer, milk, instant coffee, high fiber cereal dry beans, and some fruits like blueberries.
What better way to show your rebel side than to ink your skin with great art and sometimes questionable tats that will likely haunt your dreams? Well, sometimes getting a tattoo can be dangerous for your kidney too, so before taking the big step of going to your tattoo appointment, here we show you what the risks involved in this century-old tradition are. The University of British Columbia found that some inks used in modern tattoo parlors have toxins that can enter your circulatory system and damage your kidney, lymph node, and lung damage in some patients.
The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved or researched some inks used like UV light-activated or glow in the Dark, so not much is known of the damage it might cause in the long run. It is also essential to understand that some people might be allergic to some ingredients that can cause dermatitis, which is skin irritation. According to the National Center for Toxicological research, some of the dyes used in tattoos are also suitable for printers and automobile paint. So next time you go to get the tattoo that you dreamt of, remember to check what type of ink might be safe for you.
Keto Diet is the new trend in dietary lifestyles that are sweeping the nation. If you’ve been living under a rock, Keto Diet is a low carb, high-fat diet commonly used to lose weight fast. Lowering the carb intake can lead to Ketosis, a metabolic state where your body primarily relies on fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Even if it’s trendy right now, it is not for everyone, especially if you have any renal problems that might jeopardize your health, so it is vital to know the risks before diving into it.
Since high-fat foods like cheese, eggs, and meat do not have any carbs, it is a staple for the Keto diet, but that also means that you might be at a higher risk of having Kidney Stones. When you have a higher intake of animal foods, your blood and urine can turn more acidic. You’ll have higher chances to excrete calcium in your urine and reduce the amount of citrate released in your urine, lead to developing kidney stones. Anyone with a Chronic Kidney Disease (CDK) need to stay away from Keto because this might weaken your kidney and lead to acidosis.
Going Vegan is a big step for many people. Leaving behind all animal products can be a challenge, but it can be achieved with a well-regulated balanced diet. That can worsen your condition with kidney problems, especially if you’re unsure what things you can eat. With your eating options being smaller, this means you have to depend on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and healthy oils to keep your body running. Now that you decided to avoid that meat lover’s pizza, it’s time to learn what to avoid and which ones to try out.
First of all, it is always essential to consult a dietitian before attempting any diet. They will tell you what options are right for you and find a balance to help you stay in optimal health. However, if you want to try the green-way, always remember to avoid high sodium, potassium, and phosphorous food and veggies since that will affect your kidney. It is better to include at least some protein-rich animal products combined with veggies high in fiber to keep it balanced. There are other diets like the DASH Diet, which is mostly recommended for people with high blood pressure and that consist of avoiding high fat, cholesterol, and trans fat
There’s nothing more relaxing after a long day at work to relax in the bathtub with a cup of wine, relaxing music, and your favorite essential oils burning away and filling the air with calmness. These popular oils can help you relieve stress, pains and relax you. Nevertheless, according to scientists, essential oils might be doing more harm than good. What exactly are these types of aromatic oils used in baths, spas for massages, and burns have that can go as far as damaging your kidneys? Well, Scientists from Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Taiwan are here with the results.
Researchers found that these oils used for relaxation have a chemical called volatile organic compounds that, when mixed with the air, creates a secondary organic aerosol that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and can cause nausea, headaches, and liver and kidney damage. The oils that generated the highest number of aerosols were eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree, lavender, and peppermint. Also, it all depends on the ventilation within the space where the oils are being used. Next time you go to a spa, check out how ventilated the area is, the types of oils used, and be safe from those volatile organic compounds.