Posts tagged: kidney disease

Top 10 Things You Must Avoid To Prevent Lifestyle-Related Kidney Damage

Top 10 Tips To Avoid Lifestyle-Related Kidney Damage
Top 10 Tips To Avoid Lifestyle-Related Kidney Damage. Graphic © Background image sources – Pixabay (PD)

Kidney disease is now the 9th leading cause of death in the United States with an estimated 31 million people suffering from it. [1] Kidney disease does not happen overnight. Most causes of renal damage occur cumulatively – gradually over several years and often as a result of poor lifestyle choices – however it is known as a “silent killer” because loss of kidney function may not be accompanied by any symptoms until it is too late. Fortunately, lifestyle choices are modifiable so it’s not yet too late. Here are the top 10 deadly habits that can lead to kidney disease.

1. Avoid Smoking

By this time, everyone should know that smoking is bad for your health. It is carcinogenic, triggers respiratory disease, causes hypertension and is bad for your kidneys. Smoking causes vasoconstriction. When blood vessels tighten it impedes circulation towards the kidney. This deprives the organ of nutrients, causing it damage.

2. Avoid Holding In Your Pee

Not voiding when your bladder is full makes you more prone to UTI. When you don’t empty your bladder on a regular basis, your urine becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Even more dangerous is the fact that holding in your pee can cause the infection to move up from the bladder towards your kidney and consequently leading to kidney damage.

3. Avoid A Diet High In Simple Sugars

Eating a lot of sweet foods like soft drinks and desserts not only puts you at risk of developing diabetes but it can also cause kidney failure. When your blood sugar is too high, some of that sugar spills out into your urine. Normally, there shouldn’t be any sugar in your pee, but when you experience hyperglycemia over a prolonged period, the excess sugar begins damaging the structures inside your kidney. [2] In addition to that, when urine contains sugar it causes bacteria to grow at a faster rate, putting you at a higher risk of developing a UTI.

4. Avoid Hypertension

The kidneys are our body’s filter for the blood. High blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels within the kidney making the organ work harder to filter and clean the blood. Eventually, the blood vessels become scarred and weak with all the trauma hypertension has caused, and this ultimately leads to kidney disease. [3]

5. Avoid Inappropriate Use Of Over The Counter Medications

Some OTC medications are known to be nephrotoxic aka. damaging to the kidneys, when taken in excess. OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen and aspirin, when abused, can damage the insides of the kidney. Hyperacidity medications like omeprazole have also been listed as a cause of nephritis aka. inflammation of the kidneys, when taken in high dosages. [4]

6. Avoid Lack Of Exercise

This one is bad news for people who sit in a chair all day. Sorry but it’s true: Not moving enough can be bad for your body in several ways. It can increase your chances of getting a stroke, pneumonia, blood clots and yes you’ve guessed it, even damage your kidneys. When you don’t move a lot or you don’t exercise regularly, the flow of urine is not helped by gravity. This makes it easier for kidney stones to form inside your body. In fact, the relationship between a sedentary lifestyle to kidney disease is so strong, researchers have figured that just as little as 80 minutes a day of inactivity can increase the likelihood of renal disease by 20 percent. [6]

7. Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol

It’s a well known fact that overindulgence in alcohol affects our bodies drastically. It can cause blood pressure to shoot up and can damage our liver over time. When both blood pressure and liver function deteriorate, it makes the job for the kidneys harder. [7]

8. Avoid Not Drinking Enough Water

Staying well-hydrated is good for your body. It prevents kidney stones, flushes out toxins, makes it hard for bacteria to grow inside our urinary tract, and ensures our kidneys are functioning properly. Not getting enough water to drink throws a wrench in the works and can significantly decrease kidney function.

9. Avoid Excess Sodium

A diet high in salt leads to hypertension. Hypertension, as mentioned previously, can damage the circulation of blood in our kidneys. Excess sodium in the body causes water retention and makes it hard for our kidneys to regulate fluid balance.

10. Avoid Excessive Stress

Normal levels of stress are necessary for us to grow as a person but when it becomes unchecked, it can cause serious life-threatening conditions. Chronic stress can cause your blood pressure to increase and makes you more likely to eat unhealthy foods. It can also trigger you into drinking alcohol and using medications inappropriately.

Summary: Your kidneys won’t necessarily warn you that you are harming them. Be good to yourself. Taking care of your internal organs through good lifestyle is an investment in your future, take the steps now and get the benefits later.


[1] 2015 Kidney Disease Statistics (2015)

[2] Diabetes and Kidney Disease (2014)

[3] High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease (2014)

[4] Drug-Induced Nephrotoxicity (2008)

[5] People with Sedentary Lifestyles Are at Increased Risk of Developing Kidney Disease (2015)

[6] Alcohol consumption and 5-year onset of chronic kidney disease: the AusDiab study (2009)

Glyphosate Implicated In Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemic

Glyphosate Implicated In Chronic Kidney Disease EpidemicImages – Pixabay (PD)

Chronic kidney disease or CKD is a condition characterized by loss of kidney function, persisting for more than six months (conditions that are shorter than six months are called acute). People can get sick with CKD because of a variety of factors, typically because of an unhealthy diet high in sodium and persistent hypertension.

According to Jayasumana, et. al., CKD of unknown etiology was first discovered among the Sri Lanka farmers in the mid-1990s. It first started in the North Central Province and spreading out to neighboring farming areas over the next twenty years. Over 400,000 people were affected, with mortality rates reaching 20,000. The affected farmers were not diagnosed with co-morbidities like diabetes or hypertension but were showing the dangerous signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease. [1]

The “cluster” of CKD cases in Sri Lanka suggested to researchers that something environmental be causing kidney damage – and they found a correlation between the unusually high number of CKD cases and the use of glyphosate (Roundup) – the most widely used herbicide in the affected area.

Toxic nephropathy is what the researchers suggest is causing the kidney diseases among the farmers. While glyphosate alone is considered not enough to cause CKD, the combination with water hardness and nephrotoxic metals are thought to damage the kidney’s tissues severely.

The researchers found that there was a positive association between hard water drinking and CKD. Hard water is water with high mineral content, like calcium and magnesium deposits from the water percolating through rock. Over 96 percent of affected farmers consumed hard water for at least five years. However there are people in many other places who have hard water and not the kidney disease.

Further research revealed a factor specific to the area — the use of glyphosate as a herbicide. This chemical is marketed widely all over the world as “Roundup” produced by the Monsanto Company. Glyphosate is far from being environmental friendly and takes a long time because it degrades – it stays for approximately 92 days in water and 47 days in soil, enough time to seem into the farm’s drinking water sources. [1][2]

Ayoola in 2008 found that glyphosate caused necrosis in the kidney tissues in test subjects exposed to the chemical. Seralini similarly concluded that glyphosate exposure through the diet caused increases in serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, two of the most important markers of kidney health. Kruger, et. in 2010 discovered the same nephrotoxic effects on test subjects exposed to glyphosate. [3][4][5]

Jayasuma, et. al. conducted another study published in 2015, focusing on farmers visiting the Padavi-Sripura hospital and being diagnosed with CKD. They had the same conclusion, that an interplay of factors – hardness of water and intake of and exposure to glyphosate – caused severe damage to the kidneys, leading to chronic kidney diseases. [6]

Because of the scientific community’s focus on the nephrotoxic effects of glyphosate, Sri Lanka’s president in 2015 banned the use of the herbicide in the country. However, Roundup, which uses glyphosate as a main ingredient, is still popularly used in the United States, marketed by a big company not only towards farmers but also as a herbicide you can use in your own home. The commercialization of glyphosate is a scary thought to consider, since it has been linked to kidney damage and chronic illness. Using Roundup in your own garden means you are receiving direct exposure to the chemical and potentially raising your risk (as well as your loved ones’) of getting sick.

Instead of choosing a dangerous chemical to control weeds in your home garden, opt for natural methods instead. Vinegar is a popular choice to kill weeks, because it easy to find and even easier to use. Just be careful that you don’t douse your plant with the liquid!

Article by Samantha Fernandez for © 2017


[1] Jayasumana, C., et. al. (2014). Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?

[2] Roundup.

[3] Ayoola S.O. Histopathological effect of glyphosate on Juvenile African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) Am. Eurasian J. Agric. Environ. Sci. 2008;4:362–367. doi: 10.3844/ajessp.2008.362.366.…/

[4] Seralini, G., et. al. (2007). New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity.

[5] Krüger M., Schrödl W., Neuhaus J., Shehata A.A. Field investigations of glyphosate in urine of Danish dairy cows. J. Environ. Anal. Toxicol. 2013;3 doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000186.…/

[6] Jayasumana, C., et. al. (2015). Drinking well water and occupational exposure to Herbicides is associated with chronic kidney disease, in Padavi-Sripura, Sri Lanka.