You’re probably not thinking about your kidneys right now, but they nonetheless do their vital work silently 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They balance your pH, fluid levels, blood pressure, toxic load, and much more.
Because the kidneys work “behind the scenes”, it’s easy to engage in habits that could harm them. That’s why today I want to share with you six unexpected ways that you could be damaging these crucial organs which are essential to both your bone and overall health.
So with the candy-intensive holiday of Halloween coming up, let’s start with a warning about all those sweets…
1. Excessive Sugar Consumption
Sugar is not usually something you think of in relation to kidney health. But eating too much can cause water retention and even kidney stones, and excess sugar can lead to conditions like obesity, which in turn can greatly increase the risk of kidney-damaging diabetes.
The thing about sugar is that it lurks in foods that are not “sugary” per se. For example, it’s obvious you’re indulging in excess sugar consumption if you eat a dozen doughnuts or scarf down a lot of candy. But what about your store-bought bread, frozen meals, or salad dressing? Those and many, many more packaged and pre-prepared foods can contain quite a bit of sugar.
Excess sugar also damages bones. It acidifies the body, creating an environment where the alkalizing minerals are leeched from the bones to balance the acidity. In addition, sugar suppresses the immune system and competes with important bone-building micronutrients.
2. Dye Exposure From Medical Tests
Certain toxic dyes are injected as part of various radiological imagery tests like X-rays, angiograms, and CT scans. Such dyes can cause not only kidney damage, but acute kidney failure. Tests of this nature should not be undertaken unless your kidneys are in excellent shape, and even then, caution is warranted. Personally, I would not undergo such a procedure unless the risks clearly outweighed the possible benefits.
3. Osteoporosis Drugs
Your kidneys treat all drugs, including osteoporosis drugs, as toxins…and this makes sense, because that’s precisely what they are. Remember, most drugs do not heal or cure any disease or disorder. They merely mask symptoms, and they can wreak havoc on your kidneys.
Even over-the-counter painkillers, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys. Chronic overuse of these drugs can cause kidney failure, and so can osteoporosis drug use. In fact, the popular osteoporosis drug Reclast can cause life-threatening renal failure.
4. Cigarette Smoking
The list of health problems caused by smoking seems never-ending. The problems these addictive “nicotine sticks” cause go far beyond the rather well-known damage they do to the lungs and heart. Smokers actually tend to have more protein in their urine, a condition known as albuminuria, which is a classic sign of kidney disease. This is likely due to the way smoking influences the glomerular filtration rate, stressing the kidneys to the point of damage.1
If your kidneys are damaged from smoking, then they won’t detoxify your body as they should. This in turn allows for the buildup of toxins not only from the cigarettes but from the environment, the food you eat, and the chemical exposure that is part of daily life in the modern world.
5. Excessive Table Salt
Table salt is a highly processed “food” that contains additives like anti-caking agents and dextrose. Table salt has been reduced to simply sodium chloride, so it’s devoid of trace minerals. Eating just sodium chloride is a very imbalanced way to take in salt.
Salt competes with calcium, robbing your bones of this important mineral. The more salt you eat, the greater the urinary output of calcium – and that means your kidneys are being taxed.
Another way that excess salt taxes the kidneys is by influencing and skewing blood volume. As the kidneys try to compensate for the excess salt, they must trigger the body to hold water in its tissues to try to keep your fluids balanced.
All of this takes away from the kidneys’ role in detoxification and pH balancing that is so vital for your health, including the health of your bones.
6. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Your kidneys consider alcohol a harmful substance, and filter it out of your blood. Obviously, too much alcohol burdens the kidneys as they work to remove it from your system. In addition, alcohol causes dehydration, giving rise to a host of health problems, including the disruption of water-dependent, healthy bone remodeling. Dehydration also stimulates the production of bone-damaging stress hormones.
Besides dehydration, alcohol can damage the liver (a rather well-known effect of too much drinking). But what you may not know is that a damaged liver can lead to damaged kidneys. That’s because your liver can’t do its important detoxification job when it’s diseased or damaged, so the kidneys have to try to take up the slack and filter out the toxins left by the flagging liver. This puts a tremendous burden on the kidneys, setting the stage for overwork and disease.
The damage caused by alcohol is best summed up in the conclusion of this comprehensive study on the impact of alcohol on kidney function:
“Excessive alcohol consumption can have profound negative effects on the kidneys and their function in maintaining the body’s fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance, leaving alcoholic people vulnerable to a host of kidney-related health problems.”2
Remember, we’re talking about excessive alcohol intake. As always, moderation is key!
So How Can I Keep My Kidneys In Top Shape?
Now that we’ve looked at the ways you might be damaging your kidneys, I want to share with you how to support and nourish these important organs so they will keep your bones and your body healthy for years to come.
The answer lies in a “kidney-friendly” lifestyle that includes cleansing foods, pure water, and regular exercise. So to give your kidneys a jump-start on optimal function, a periodic cleanse is an excellent idea.
OsteoCleanse™ The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator is designed to help you do just that. It’s a comprehensive, effective, food-and-beverage-based cleanse that doesn’t involve lots of supplements or severe denial. Rather, OsteoCleanse™ focuses on what you should eat to support and cleanse your kidneys and liver, alkalizing your body and giving your kidneys the nourishment and rest they need.
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Till next time,
1 Ishizaka, N., et l. “Association between cigarette smoking and chronic kidney disease in Japanese men.” Hypertension Research: official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension. March 2008. 31(3): 485-92. Doi: 10.1291/hypres.31.485. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18497468
2 Epstein, Murray. “Alcohol’s Impact on Kidney Function.” Alcohol Health and Research World. 1997. Vol. 21, No. 1. PDF. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/84.pdf