Which of my habits is damaging my kidney?

‘Honey, I’m having this back pain for the past 3 days. I think I’ll see the doctor after work’. Mr Tayo told his wife

‘Okay dear, take care of yourself’ his wife replied him with a kiss as she left for work.

Mr Tayo is a 40 year old successful business man with 5 companies and about 2000 staff. He married his wife 5 years ago and they’re blessed with 3 boys.

2pm, he arrived at the hospital and complained to the doctor. The doctor ordered for some tests which he was asked to come back after a 3 days for the result.

***3 days later;

Mr Tayo: Good morning doctor, I’m here for the test results

Doctor: Mr Tayo, the test results revealed that you have acute kidney injury. You see, we need to start treatment as soon as possible and…

Mr Tayo: Ahah, what are you saying doctor? Kidney injury at my age? I’m too young now. I thought it’s drunkards that have kidney problems…

Let’s dig in:

1. Your kidneys are two (2) bean shaped organs at your lower back. They are very vital organs that helps your body to remove waste products from your body and accumulate them as urine. It also helps in producing red blood cell and regulate your blood pressure.

2. Your kidney is very sensitive to the amount of blood passing through as this determine the amount of urine produced. That is, little amount of blood, little urine and vice versa.

While there are various things that can damage the kidney, let’s talk about how your lifestyle can damage them;

A. Abuse of Painkillers:

Who likes pain? No one does but painkillers are not always the best option. An example of commonly abused painkiller is PARACETAMOL. Just 2 pills and the pain is gone. It’s fine once in a while but the damage begins when you start abusing it and use it daily. For some people, 2 pills are not enough, they increase to 3 or 4. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, Diclofenac, alabukun and others can damage your kidney if used regularly. If pain is persistent after resting, see your doctor

B. Not Drinking Enough Water:

Water is life, life is water. The whole of our internal organs are filled with water. Water makes up 60% of your weight. Water is very essential because it makes blood light and easy to move to various parts of your body (remember point 2) and make it easy for the kidney to remove wastes. It is recommended that adults take 8 cups of water per day while children take 5 cups (depending on age). Water is also gotten from fruits. If you find it hard drinking ordinary water, you can fill a bottlewith clean water, slice in your favorite fruits, refrigerate and drink.

C. High Salt Intake:

You need to be conscious of the amount of salt you put in food. You start gradually, and you should start now. It’s like learning to drive. Very soon, you’ll get used to it. Also, reduce the amount of processed, can foods. Reduce red meat, reduce foods high in fats.

D. Holding In The Urge To Pee:

Your bladder can only hold about 3 to 4 cups of urine for 3 hours. As soon as you can, void out the urine. Another harmful effect of this is that it can cause infection

E. Alcoholism:

Alcoholic drinks in all forms is the highest risk factor to kidney failure and many other diseases. The reason is because alcohol causes dehydration, reducing the amount of water in your body. So the body has high level of alcohol, low level of water. Remember that alcohol is made up of alot of chemicals and rooms that the kidney needs to filter from the blood. So the kidney works hard to remove them and results in damage.

So, which of these habits are you changing?

For me, I’m increasing my water intake and working on reuducing my salt in food.

Live Healthy, Live Wealthy!

Written by Adepoju Tolulope (RN, RM)

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