10 habits that damage your kidneys: Many people talk about protecting the heart, the brain, and the liver, but nobody talks about protecting the kidneys – why?

Kidney disease is a silent killer. Symptoms of kidney disease don’t appear until the late stages.

In addition, many people are unaware of the fact that their daily activities and habits can harm their kidneys and lead to kidney failure.

Let us learn about the 10 common habits that can damage your kidneys.

Use of NSAIDs (painkillers)

Over-the-counter painkillers also known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) should be used with caution as their use can lead to kidney disease. Long-term use of NSAIDs is one of the major risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Almost 5 to 10% of chronic kidney disease cases and kidney failures may be due to the overuse of painkillers. The use of painkillers in high doses can rapidly deteriorate kidney health.

Learn more about “Painkillers and Kidney Disease”

Excess use of sugar-based soft drinks

According to several research-backed studies, drinking large amounts of soft drinks and beverages regularly is linked to a higher risk of developing kidney disease.

Excess salt intake

Consuming salt more than the recommended daily value can silently lead to high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the kidneys leading to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. To minimize salt intake, it is better to remove salt containers from the dining table and avoid consuming processed food. The use of spices and herbs is a better option to flavor foods in place of salt.

Excess sugar intake

Excessive sugar intake can add on calories and lead to excess body weight. Obesity is the major risk factor for diabetes and high blood pressure. Both these conditions are the leading causes of kidney disease. To reduce sugar avoid all bakery items, white bread, sweets, chocolates and breakfast cereals.

In addition, pay attention to the food labels and ingredients when you buy packaged foods to avoid added sugar in your diet.

Eating Excess Meat

Excess consumption of animal proteins can lead to the accumulation of acid in the blood. High amounts of acid can cause acidosis – which is harmful to the kidneys.


Smoking can damage your kidneys. It causes narrowing of blood vessels increasing the risk of heart and kidney disease. Heavy smokers are at risk of chronic kidney disease, and kidney failure.

Drinking Alcohol excessively

Excess alcohol intake is associated with the risk of developing kidney disease. Heavy smokers who drink alcohol in excess are up to five times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to those who don’t drink or smoke.

Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking adequate water is not only good for your overall health but also for your kidneys’ health. If you are well-hydrated, your kidneys work efficiently in removing excess chemicals, and toxins from your body. You can also prevent kidney stones. Consumption of 3  liters of water per day is a healthy target.

Eating Processed Foods

Processed foods are high in salt and sugar. Increased consumption can increase your risk of diabetes and hypertension, People with kidney disease should avoid processed food.

Sedentary lifestyle

Keeping yourself busy and active is important not only for your overall health but also for your kidney health. Inactivity will lead to muscle weakness and bone thinning.

Regular exercise of 30 minutes per day can help improve blood sugars and keep blood pressure under check. Both these factors are important in the management of kidney health.