If Your Kidneys Could Talk, They Would
Tell You to Stop Doing This
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May 6,  2016

By Ariadne Weinberg,  Featured Columnist and Susan Callahan, Health
Editor




Sometimes we are bombarded with so many statistics and
numbers that,in the blur, they lose meaning.  It takes a truly
startling number to make us sit up and take notice.  Here is
one such number.  There are about 7 billion people on the
planet and one out of every 10 of us have chronic kidney
disease. Kidney disease? Are you kidding?

It's true --- chronic kidney disease just bolted up the list of
the diseases that kill the most people, from 27th to 18th.  
According to the National Kidney Foundation, that type of
dramatic upsurge in numbers has only been seen in one other
disease --HIV/AIDs.  Clearly, the ground beneath us is
shifting in a fundamental way when it comes to kidney
disease.  What's going on?

Your kidneys act as a sort of water filtering plant.

We'll go into the specifics later, but keep in mind that the
kidneys' main job is to filter blood correctly and keep the right
amount of water in
your body.

Anything that might interfere with that makes them tired and
burdens the rest of the system.


Nowadays, not only is the total number of cases of kidney
diseases  growing but also the type of kidney disease people
are suffering is becoming more serious
.

"Acute kidney disease", which is a
sudden and sometimes fatal
loss of kidney function
, went up in cases of hospitalization by
3,942 in 1996 to 23,052 in 2008, according to United States
Renal Data System’s 2010 Annual Data Report and 2011
Annual Data Report.


The same report confirms that 1 in 10 U.S. Adults (over 20
million) has some form of chronic kidney disease. With
numbers like this, it is our responsibility to analyze what might
be causing a culture with worn-out kidneys.



Take a look at some things that your kidneys might tell your
brain, if those two organs could have a little chat.

































1.
Don't Overcaffeinate


“If you want my coffee, you'll have to pry it from my cold
dead hands!”
you say half-asleep as you read this article. Yes,
yes. I know. But relax. It's just a question of not overdosing
on it and eating right when you do
get your caffeine fix,
whether it be from coffee, sodas or green tea
.

Even brief caffeine consumption can increase the risk of
developing kidney stones, especially if you're not keeping
yourself fed.


A 2004 study by L.K. Massy and R.A. Sutton from the
Washington State University in Spokane analyzed the
immediate effects of drinking caffeine after 14 hours of
fasting.


It turned out that there was a greater calcium excretion in
urine, and a higher risk of kidney stone formation. Now,
hopefully you don't go that long without eating, but the fact
remains that if you binge on the coffee, especially when not
eating in a balanced way, you're still at risk.
(Read more about
the
connection between coffee and high blood pressure.)




2.
Your Kidneys Are Begging You --"Don't Smoke Cigarettes"




I guess in the 21st century, we have to resign ourselves to
the fact that
smoking nicotine is good for...absolutely nothing.

In the case of kidneys, nicotine builds up protein in the urine,
which causes problems.


In 2008, N. Ishikaza from the University of Tokyo graduate
school of medicine published a study on urinary albumin (a
protein that is soluble in water and moderately concentrated
salt solutions and is coagulable by heat) excretion and
glomerular filtration rate in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects.


This study
was based on 7,078 Japanese men who had
undergone general health and screening between 2005 and
2006.


The researchers found that smoking increases the both
albumin excretion and glomerular filtration rate, leaving the
kidneys worn out and less functional.


Do your kidneys a favor, and leave the cigarettes behind.




3.
Lay Off the Diet Sweeteners


“Sugar! Yes please!” Actually, sugar isn't too great either, but
the more insidious, nefarious substance
, when it comes to
your kidneys, are
artificial sweeteners.

Not all artificial sweeteners are damaging, mind you, since no
study has linked either sucralose (Spelnda) or stevia with
kidney disease.

But let's focus on those little pink (saccharine) and blue
(aspartame) packets.

These often are
marketed as healthier options, but those little
pink packets are
both toxic and acidifying for your kidneys.

All diet foods and drinks which use these sweeteners are
potentially damaging to your kidneys
.

Here's an example.
A 2010 study from Julie Lin and Gary C.
Curham from the Brigham and Women's hospital found that
diet soda was damaging to kidneys, especially if you happen
to be a woman. A compilation of data from 3,318 women
found that the consumption of two or more servings of
artificially-sweetened soda per day is associated with a two-
fold increase in the odds of kidney function decline in women.


So, the next time you say to yourself “Oh, I'll just order the
diet soda; wouldn't want to gain weight”,
think and think
again. M
aybe go with sparkling water instead.



4.
Drink Moderately of Course


“What's
drinking moderately?” Glad you asked.

According to  the National Kidney Foundation website, one
drink is defined as one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce
glass of wine, or one shot (1.5 ounces) of hard liquor.


More than three drinks a day for women or more than four
drinks a day for men is considered heavy drinking, and can be
hard on the body.


E
xcess alcohol has the potential to change the way your
kidneys function, and make them less able to filter blood.
Another job of the kidneys to help keep the right amount of
water in the body, and alcohol gets in the way of that, as it
causes dehydration.


According to a 1997 report compiled from various studies by
Dr. Murray Epstein from the University of Miami School of
Medicine, “Alcohol can disrupt the hormonal control
mechanisms that govern kidney function. By promoting liver
disease, chronic drinking has further detrimental effects on
the kidneys, including impaired sodium and fluid handling and
even acute kidney failure.” So, when you go out partying,
drink water between those elegant cocktails and just have a
few.




5.
Be Careful with Painkillers and Check How Often You Use
Them


“Well, I tried to drink moderately, but my head still hurts”,
you say the morning after. Don't become too reliant on your
friendly pharmaceutical painkiller.


The long-term use of analgesics, especially those that are non-
steroidal and anti-inflammatory, have been shown to damage
the structure and tissue of kidneys, particularly in high doses.


Analgesic neuropathy is a slowly progressive disease that can
occur with the daily use of the mixture of two antipyretic
(fever-reducing) analgesics, especially those with caffeine or
codeine.


According to a 1998 report from Marc. E. De Broe at the
University of Antwerp, Belgium, analgesic neuropathy can
include renal papillary necrosis and chronic interstitial
nephritis, with a possible progression to renal failure.


Poor kidneys. You don't want to do that to them. Try to stay
hydrated to avoid headaches, and look for alternative
painkillers in low doses.




6.
Cut Down on Your Salt Intake

"No no can eat just one", the famous commercial for potato
chips taunts.
  I know. I'm bad at resisting those, too.

But your kidneys will thank you if you're not eating foods with
piles of salt on top of them.


Salt causes increases the "filtration fraction" and "glomerular
pressure
", which are fancy ways of says that salt increases
the amount of fluid that your kidneys have to handle
.

You're going to want to be especially careful if you have high
blood pressure or an existing kidney problem. According to a
2002 study from R. Boero from the San Giovanni hospital in
Turin, Italy, a change in salt intake interferes with the urinary
excretion of proteins in people with hypertension or those
who already have kidney disease.


Even if you don't have either of these issues, salt has a direct
tissue effect on the kidneys. And the increase of blood
pressure that comes with downing salt damages them
overtime.


So, how much salt should I be consuming? The average looks
to be 2,300 mg. If you are a North American, you're probably
getting 3,300.


But i
f you've already got kidney problems or hypertension,
take
that salt limit down to 1,500 mg.

Salt is a great way to add flavor to food, but there are lots of
delicious spices that can help you out if you need a low-salt
diet.


There are always spices and herbs to substitute for salt
without loss of flavor. For fish, try dill, for meats, try
curry,
basil, coriander, even
cinnamon.




7.
CT Scans and Certain X-Rays Can Damage Your Kidneys?



Some common medical procedures can damage your kidneys.
This is a strange
but true fact:  if you're going through a
process where you need radiology (CT scans, X-rays,
angiograms), check your kidneys first.


If you need to receive any of these processes for surgeries,
keep in mind that the dyes that they use can cause serious
kidney damage, such as Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).


According to a 2012 article by Rinaldo Bellomo from the
University of Melbourne, “Acute kidney injury (formerly
known as acute renal failure) is a syndrome characterised by
the rapid loss of the kidney's excretory function and is
typically diagnosed by the accumulation of end products of
nitrogen metabolism (urea and creatinine) or decreased urine
output, or both.”


This type of kidney injury
is most common in hospital patients
and especially chronically ill ones. So, if you are going to the
doctor often, make sure you also check the state of your
kidneys often.  













































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Too much caffeine damages your kidneys,
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