10 Common Habits That Seriously Damage Your Kidneys

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10 Common Habits That Seriously Damage Your Kidneys
image 1 – tortic84 ; image 2 – stevepb – pixabay.com

Although it stands to reason that all our organs are vital, the kidneys play a critical role in keeping you healthy. The bean-shaped organ functions as a filter system that prevents all the toxins from continuing to circulate in your system. Your kidneys filter urine, waste, and excess fluid, offering protection against the accumulation of waste in the body.

Your kidneys can still do their job with as little as 20% of their capacity, but what is alarming is that any damage or steady decline of the organ may be symptom-free and go unnoticed for years. Diseases that arise from kidney malfunction are often referred to as “The Silent Diseases“. It is imperative, then, to give your kidneys some love before it is too late.

Here are some of the common habits that you might not realize are destroying your kidneys. It is important to avoid these habits before they cause serious damage to your overall health.

1. Too Much Salt

A diet high in too much salt can affect your kidney’s normal function. Too much sodium equates with increased blood pressure which is very bad for your heart and kidneys. Several studies have proposed a reduction in salt intake to avoid cardiovascular and renal diseases. [1]

2. Not Drinking Enough Water

Water is used by your kidneys to process and expel waste and toxins from your body. A clear sign that your kidneys receive enough water is the color of your urine – which should be light yellow. The protective effect of higher water intake on the kidneys and the correlation of low fluid intake with chronic kidney disease have been well-studied. [2]

3. Too Much Indulgence In Sugar

Sugar can cause processing problems for the kidneys in high doses. According to the American Heart Association, men and women only need 150 and 100 calories of sugar per day respectively. [3] A 2013 study showed the causal role of sugar in several kidney disease risk factors. [4]

4. Alcohol Consumption

Acute and chronic alcohol consumption can compromise the function of your kidney. Acute kidney failure is one of the detrimental effects of chronic drinking. Alcohol was found to have a disrupting effect on the hormonal mechanisms that govern kidney function. [5]

5. Painkiller Abuse

Many people use on-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, Advil, or ibuprofen for minor pains. Overuse of these pain relievers can cause serious side effects including kidney problems and bleeding. [6]

6. Missing Out On Sleep

A good night’s sleep is extremely important to your kidneys. But how, you might ask? According to research, the function of your kidneys is dependent on your sleep-wake cycle, which helps coordinate the organ’s workload over 24 hours. There is a clear link between sleep disorders and chronic kidney disease, says a 2016 study. [7]

7. Eating Too Much Meat

Acidosis is a medical condition that results from the failure of your kidneys to get rid of acids created by meat protein. [8] Protein is an important part of your diet, but you need to balance out your consumption of meat with fruit and vegetables.

8. Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies

Vitamin B6 and magnesium are needed by your kidneys to function at an optimal level. The former helps prevent the formation of calcium oxalate while the latter lowers urinary oxalate. [9] Both are helpful in the prevention of kidney stones and slowing of the development of other kidney diseases.

9. Eating Processed Foods

Many processed foods contain a high level of sodium – which increases your chance of developing kidney stones. Sodium is found in canned, packaged, and fast foods as well as in many condiments, seasonings, and cured meats. To reduce the risk of incidence of stone formation, a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in animal proteins is advised. [10]

10. Delaying The Call Of Nature

Many of us ignore the urge to pee because we are too busy or there are no bathrooms available. If you retain urine on a regular basis, there is a high possibility of developing kidney stones, incontinence, and kidney failure. [11]

Further Reading:

5 Natural Methods For Maintaining Kidney Health, Combating Sludge & Preventing Stones

4 Juices For Detoxifying Your Kidneys

9 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Kidney Disease

15 Symptoms of Kidney Disease That You Must Know – And What You Should Do About It

Top 10 Natural Remedies For Kidney Stones


[1] Susic D et al. 2009. The Oschner Journal. Salt, Arterial Pressure, and Cardiovascular and Renal Damage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096281/

[2] Sontrop JM et al. 2013. American Journal of Nephrology. 2013. Association between water intake, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease: a cross-sectional analysis of NHANES data. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23594828

[3] American Heart Association. Sugar 101. https://heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Sugar-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp#.WVnSjRWGN3w

[4] Karalius VP and Shoham DA. March 2013. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease. Dietary sugar and artificial sweetener intake and chronic kidney disease: a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439375

[5] Epstein M. 1997. Alcohol Health and Research World. Alcohol’s impact on kidney function. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15706766

[6] The Washington Post. July 18, 2011. Consumer Reports: Overuse of pain relievers can be hazardous. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/consumer-reports-overuse-of-pain-relievers-can-be-hazardous/2011/05/18/gIQAiO2JMI_story.html

[7] Maung SC et al. May 6, 2016. World Journal of Nephrology. Sleep disorders and chronic kidney disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848147/

[8] U.S. National Library of Medicine. Acidosis. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001181.htm

[9] National Kidney Foundation. Vitamins and Minerals in Kidney Disease. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/vitamineral

[10] Trinchieri A. February 2013. Minerva Medica. Diet and renal stone formation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23392537

[11] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Urinary Retention. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/urinary-retention

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  • By Tami aubin, January 9, 2018 @ 1:41 pm

    Learning.about how to protect; Your kidneys,reminded me what i need to do on a regular day to day bases.juicing.

  • By Nada Gvoka, August 19, 2020 @ 7:08 am

    My kidneys are almost not working. I m on dialysis.Is it possible to regenerate kidneys and how?

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