1. Medications: Long-term use of high doses of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) -prescription painkillers, that contain ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), or acetaminophen (Tylenol®), has a harmful effect on kidney tissue and structures, causing shrinkage of blood vessels in the kidneys. Diuretics (urine enhancers) medications may also cause excessive water loss, straining the kidneys.
2. Cigarette Smoking: Smoking has a direct relation to increased protein detected in the urine, affecting kidneys adversely. Diabetes and high blood pressure, diseases having an aggravating impact on kidney damage, are also exacerbated by smoking.
3. Sugars: Sugar laden food does not impact kidneys directly but triggers and worsens other health problems like diabetes. Diabetes and obesity are two of the most common causes of kidney damage.
4. Contrast Dyes: Dyes used in diagnostic radiology procedures like CT scans, X-rays and angiograms, have serious implications on the kidney, including Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), an abrupt decrease in kidney function. Insist on less toxic or diluted dyes, fluids to flush out toxins, or drugs to help protect the kidneys from the dye.
5. High-Sodium foods: Very little Sodium is required to maintain proper fluid balance in our body. Excessive salt intake triggers an avalanche in the body, increasing blood pressure, damaging the kidney’s filters- nephrons, accelerating kidney failure. Kidneys tend to retain water, needed for proper heart function, in order to dilute this excess electrolyte in the bloodstream.
6. High Blood Pressure: Weight control, exercise, and proper diet can control blood pressure—which puts lot of stress on your kidneys and causes loss of protein. So treating your blood pressure will help protect your kidneys.
7. Meat: Animal protein metabolism’s acidic residue triggers our body to pull calcium and other mineral salts from the bones, in order to return you to the preferred alkaline state, overstraining kidney functions. Uric acid –a byproduct of high purine foods such as meat, seafood and fish; causes kidney stones and calcium oxalate stones, due to increase in the amount of calcium excreted in urine.
8. Drug allergies: Allergic reactions put unprecedented load on the kidneys. Avoid medicines that you are allergic to, and ask about a drug’s effects on the kidneys, any time you take a new medication, to avoid kidney damage.
9. Genetically Modified (GM) foods: Processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients to increase plant’s pest resistance, immunity to herbicides, or improve crop yields. Studies have shown that these foods create a state of hepatorenal (liver and kidney) toxicity. Opt for organically grown produce and avoid common sources of GM ingredients such as processed and prepackaged foods.
10. Artificial Sweeteners: Though these sweeteners assert that they are non-caloric, studies have shown a decline in kidney function with an intake of just two diet sodas per day.