It’s not too late to unlearn the damaging behaviours that harm our most vital organs.

The bean-shaped organ located at either side of the spine is very crucial for the overall health of the body. Kidneys are vital life-sustaining organs that keep the blood clean and chemically balanced. Kidneys also carry out the circulation of the body’s salt, potassium, and acid content. The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that remove waste products from the body, release hormones that regulate blood pressure, produce a form of Vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones and controls the production of red blood cells. 

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It is very important to keep the kidneys in good shape. Dr Sujit Chatterjee, CEO of Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital shares some frequent habits that can harm your kidneys:

  1. Overusing painkillers – Do you have a habit of popping a pill every time you have a fever, headache, cold or muscle pain? Over-the-counter pain medicines on a daily basis may alleviate the pain but can harm the kidney. The cause of kidney damage is because of the high dosage of painkillers. The drug can reduce the blood flow to the kidneys. 
  2. Overusing the salt shaker – Diet rich in sodium can increase blood pressure and in turn harm the kidneys. Flavouring the food with herbs and spices is prescribed instead of salt. 
  3. Consuming alcohol in excess- Drinking heavily, more than four days a week has been found as a risk chronic factor for kidney diseases. Heavy drinkers who also smoke are at higher risk of kidney problems. 
  4. Sitting still and not exercising- Although researchers don’t know yet why or how sedentary time or physical activity directly impacts kidney health kidney stones are substantially less likely in people who exercise at least thrice a week. Physical activity improves blood pressure and glucose metabolism which are both important for the kidneys. It is recommended to exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week to have healthier kidneys. 
  5. Not drinking enough water – Being well hydrated helps the kidneys clear out sodium and toxins from the system. Drinking plenty of water prevents from having painful kidney stones. 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day is what a healthy kidney requires. 
  6. Consuming processed food-  Processed food is rich in sodium and phosphorus. People with kidney problems need to put a limitation on their phosphorus intake. High phosphorus intake is harmful to the kidneys and bones. 
  7. Consumption of a Vitamin-Deficient Diet- Vitamin deficiency in life can be the cause of kidney damage. A deficiency of Vitamin D is responsible for kidney disease. Sunbathing for 10-15 minutes a day can be a source that enriches Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin B6 proves very helpful in maintaining health when taken with other drugs. Chickpeas, potatoes, and starchy vegetables are rich in Vitamin B6 which maintains the life of a healthy kidney. 

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