A report published by the Indian Council of Medical Research in 2017 estimated that there are approximately 175,000 new cases of ESRD in India each year, and this number is expected to double by 2025. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Nephrology in 2018, the prevalence of CKD in India ranges from 0.8% to 17.2%, with an overall prevalence of 7.2%.
As an Indian, these reports and numbers should concern you. Kidney diseases are increasing at a hazardous rate and with an exponential increase in patients with diabetes and Blood pressure, the number of kidney patients will definitely increase if it’s not controlled. As a specialized kidney doctor in Delhi, one of our experts explained the habits that can damage kidneys.
it is essential to be aware of the habits that can harm your kidneys. Kidneys are essential organ that filters waste from the blood and eliminates it from the body. Damage to the kidneys can lead to serious health complications such as kidney failure and the need for dialysis or kidney transplant. In this article, we will discuss some common habits that can harm your kidneys and ways to protect them.
Habits that cause kidney diseases
1. Excessive salt intake
Indian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and spices, and salt is a common ingredient in many dishes. However, excessive salt intake can harm your kidneys. High salt intake can increase blood pressure, which puts a strain on the kidneys. The recommended daily intake of salt is less than 5 grams per day. To reduce salt intake, try using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor your food.
When the body takes in too much salt, the kidneys work harder to eliminate it from the body. Over time, this extra workload can damage the delicate structures of the kidneys and lead to various health problems.
Salt causes the body to retain water, which can increase blood volume and subsequently increase blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys and reduce the kidney’s ability to filter waste and excess fluid from the blood, leading to kidney damage and disease.
High levels of salt in the body can lead to the formation of these stones by causing calcium to build up in the urine.
Smoking has worse effects on the kidneys, which can result in kidney damage and kidney disease. It causes vasoconstriction, which means the narrowing of blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to the kidneys. This narrowing reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients the kidneys receive, making them more vulnerable to damage. Additionally, smoking raises blood pressure, which can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to a condition called nephrosclerosis. This is a progressive disease that can lead to chronic kidney disease.
Smoking can also increase the risk of proteinuria, which is the presence of excess protein in the urine. Proteinuria is a sign of kidney damage and can lead to chronic kidney disease over time. Furthermore, smoking can impair the function of the kidneys by damaging the small blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the kidneys. This can result in a decline in kidney function and, ultimately, kidney disease. Smoking is also a known risk factor for kidney cancer. The toxins in cigarette smoke can damage DNA and increase the risk of developing cancerous cells in the kidneys.
3. Excessive alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney damage and dysfunction. One of the most immediate effects of alcohol consumption is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes the body to lose water, leading to reduced blood flow to the kidneys. This can cause the kidneys to work harder, increasing the risk of kidney damage over time.
Alcohol also increase blood pressure, which damages the small blood vessels in the kidneys and lead to chronic kidney disease. Alcohol can also interfere with the kidneys’ ability to filter waste products and toxins from the blood, leading to the accumulation of waste products in the body. This can cause kidney damage and potentially lead to kidney failure if left untreated.
Another potential consequence of excessive alcohol consumption is an increased risk of acute kidney injury. This is a sudden loss of kidney function that can occur due to factors such as dehydration, medication interactions, or infections. Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of developing kidney stones, which can cause pain and damage to the kidneys if not treated promptly.
4. Not drinking enough water
Water helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the kidneys. Not drinking enough liquid cause dehydration, which leads to kidney problem. The recommended daily intake of water is 8-10 glasses per day.
5. Overuse of painkillers
Many Indians rely on over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen to relieve pain. However, overuse of painkillers harms your kidneys. Painkillers reduces blood flow to the kidneys and cause kidney damage
6. Diabetes and high blood pressure
Diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the leading causes of kidney damage in India. Both conditions damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney damage over time. It is essential to manage these conditions carefully. Follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
7. Lack of exercise
Regular exercise is crucial for kidney health. Exercise can help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, and maintain a healthy weight. Lack of exercise can increase the risk of kidney damage. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Carefully managing your kidneys is necessary for overall health and well-being. By avoiding habits that harm your kidneys and adopting healthy habits, you can reduce the risk of kidney damage. If you experience any symptoms of kidney damage, such as blood in the urine, swelling in the legs, or difficulty urinating, seek medical attention immediately. Remember to consult the best kidney doctors regularly for check-ups and to maintain good kidney health.