Kidney disease is the result of many factors including poor diet, alcohol overconsumption, and self-medication.
You need to be careful of what you put in your body.
If you’re not, you are at risk for developing kidney disease alongside several other metabolic disorders.
1. Cut Down On Sodium
Most people consume more sodium than they need—much more. By some popular estimates, Americans get 50%-100% more sodium than they need every day. The recommended amount for daily intake is 2,300 mg. That is about one tablespoon.
Recent research published in the academic journal Hypertension investigated the impact of dietary salt intake on kidney function. The study confirmed that salt creates a “negative feedback loop” that damages kidneys. One way to fix this is to simply use spices instead of salt.
2. Lower Your Alcohol Intake
High levels of salt consumption coupled with excessive alcohol intake creates a deadly combination for your kidneys. Most people understand that severe alcohol abuse leads to renal problems, but they might not understand the impact that even moderate to high alcohol consumption has.
One study, published by researchers at the University of Wurzburg, determined that alcohol overconsumption causes people to retain excessive amounts of water and salt. Couple alcohol with a high salt diet and you could be in trouble.
3. Avoid Self-Medication
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium might be able to keep pain away all day long, but they do it at a cost. Recent analysis of NSAID use indicates that over self-medication through over the counter pain relievers is a critical risk factor for developing kidney disease.
The study noted that you don’t even have to overuse NSAIDs to be at risk for the dangerous interactions they cause. The study concluded that “approximately 1-3% of persons exposed to an NSAID will manifest one of a variety of renal functional abnormalities typically requiring physician intervention.”
4. Be Careful of Over-the-Counter Remedies if You Have Kidney Problems
If you are going to use over-the-counter drugs you need to know what the potential side effects are. This includes herbal remedies. Sometimes, even when you consult with a doctor, over-the-counter treatments result in kidney problems if you already have kidney disease.
One recent study raised concerns about store bought medications and their interaction with kidney function. If you know you have kidney problems, you should avoid taking anything until you consult with your doctor.
5. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
The same risk factors that cause heart disease also result in kidney disease. There is a direct link because unhealthy lifestyle factors and the development of kidney problems. Unhealthy choices include smoking, lack of exercise, and obesity. Researchers studying lifestyle choices defined a healthy diet as eating fruits and vegetables daily while reducing sodium, sugar, and red processed meat intake. Their study determined that individuals who did follow a healthy diet were much less likely to develop kidney problems.
Lifestyle factors are likely the most important indicators of kidney disease development. Almost all known metabolic disorders—things like diabetes—are linked directly to kidney failure. It’s hard to tell if diseases themselves like heart disease or diabetes lead to kidney failure or if it happens the other way around. It doesn’t really matter. What we do know are the choices people make that lead to all of these diseases.
Consuming a diet high in sodium, sugar, alcohol and not getting enough natural, healthy nutrients will result in a number of health problems in later life, including kidney disease. The most important lesson is to be careful of what you put in your body.