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Kidneys are one of the most important organs of the human body. Their functions include removing excess water from the body and retaining water when the body is in need of it, regulating the levels of minerals like calcium and phosphate in the body, detoxifying the blood and filtering out waste products through the urine, etc.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in India  . 1 in 10 people of the population is estimated to suffer from chronic kidney disease. In India, every year about 175,000 people suffer from kidney failure and require dialysis or kidney transplantation  .
Intake of less fluid, smoking, excess salt intake etc., give rise to chronic kidney diseases. So it is important to break bad habits to ensure the good functioning of the kidneys.
Common Bad Habits That Damage Your Kidneys
1. Excessive consumption of processed foods
Processed foods are packed full of phosphorous and sodium, the two main culprits that cause kidney damage. People with or without kidney disease should limit the excess intake of processed foods like burgers, pastries and pies, sausages, tinned vegetables, etc  .
2. Intake of excessive painkillers
Over-the-counter pain-relief medicines like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen may alleviate aches and pains, but they can also destroy your kidneys at the same time. These could worsen your kidney problems if you are already suffering from kidney disease. Certain antibiotics like bacitracin, amphotericin B, cephalosporins etc., can also cause harm to your kidneys  .
3. Insufficient water intake
If your body is hydrated, it helps your kidneys to flush the toxins out from the body. That's one of the reasons why doctors recommend you to drink plenty of water to avoid kidney stones  . According to the National Health Service in the UK, dehydration is one of the main causes of kidney damage and kidney stones.
4. Too much salt is bad
Foods high in salt are high in sodium and consuming them increases blood pressure. This can harm your kidneys, as the kidneys need to work harder to emit the excess salt. This, in turn, can cause water retention in the body, which puts you at an increased risk of kidney disease  .
5. Lack of sleep
Sleep is very important for your body because it relaxes your brain muscles and heals and renews cells of the body. A good night's sleep is necessary for your overall health, including the kidneys. Kidney function is managed by the sleep-wake cycle, which assists to coordinate the kidneys' workload over 24 hours  .
6. Eating too much meat
After consumption, red meat produces a high amount of acid in the blood. This can be harmful to the kidneys and cause acidosis. Acidosis is a condition in which the kidneys cannot remove the acid adequately. Animal protein is necessary for the body, but excess consumption can be fatal for the kidneys  .
7. Not treating infections
If you are suffering from common infections such as cold, flu, tonsilitis, etc., start taking antibiotics immediately. If the infection is not treated on time, it may harm your kidneys. Also, if a viral infection is left untreated, it could damage your kidneys  .
8. Drinking excess alcohol
Drinking alcohol regularly in excess quantity can double the risk of chronic kidney disease. This is why heavy drinkers usually have an increased risk of kidney problems. Also, alcohol is extremely dehydrating which could further hinder the kidneys' performance  .
9. Not urinating often
Urination is the way through which toxins are eliminated from the body. If you don't urinate often, it can be harmful to your kidneys and over time, this can lead to the formation of kidney stones and cause kidney disease.
10. Increased intake of foods high in sugar
Sugar is another food that contributes to obesity, which increases your risk of developing diabetes. If sugar is consumed excessively, it can cause kidney disease  . Avoid sugary drinks, sweets and soda.
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