by RUTH KHANNA | 04th Dec, 2018
Your kidneys, those two bean-shaped organs located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal area, are responsible for many vital functions that keep your body functioning. They filter blood, remove waste through urine, produce hormones, balance minerals and maintain the balance of fluids in your body.
“A recent study shows that 18% of the world’s population is affected with Kidney Disease,” says Dr. Rajasekhara Chakravarthi of Star Hospitals, “and it is alarming to note that stress is definitely a culprit, as it indirectly affects kidney health. In fact, it leads to faster progression of Kidney Disease.”
The human body is programmed to use stress as a response to help with immediate danger. However, when your body is under high levels of stress for sustained periods of time, the physical reaction to stress, i.e. increased blood pressure, faster heart rate and higher levels of fats and sugar in the blood, can trigger off a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease/damage. “Kidney Disease/damage is often a side effect of medication taken over a prolonged period of time,” says Dr. Chakravarthi.
Another side effect of stress is unhealthy food cravings. People tend to “stress eat” unhealthy foods like potato chips and other junk foods which are processed, and high in sodium and phosphorus additives. This can negatively impact the kidneys by causing the salt and sugar levels to soar. “It is important to stay away from packaged, processed and fast foods in order to keep one’s kidneys healthy,” advises Dr. Chakravarthi.
A high-stress lifestyle also involves meeting endless deadlines sitting for long periods at a desk until a job is done, running to meetings, etc. Ensure that amidst this hectic schedule you don’t neglect to empty your bladder. Not answering nature’s call when you need to, results in your kidneys retaining toxins which are meant to be expelled, and an overfull bladder leads to pressure on your kidneys, which can lead to renal failure or incontinence.
Less downtime in the modern work routine inevitably results in poor dietary habits, and while a healthy lunch languishes in your briefcase, your lunch meeting might prompt you to fill up on unhealthy red meat or rich desserts, instead of loading up on foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Constantly remind yourself that what you eat impacts your heart and what impacts your heart has an indirect effect on your kidneys.
Keeping stress from harming your kidneys, involves taking adequate steps to keep yourself calm and eat healthily. Get into a pattern of exercising daily and eat fruit and vegetables that will keep your kidneys in peak condition. Drink adequate quantities of water, reduce the salt in your diet, get at least six hours of sleep a night, say no to smoking, reduce alcohol intake, and cut down/cut out sugary treats. Above all, don’t let stress get to you, because when it does, it adversely affects your health.
For Appointment: Dr. Rajasekhara Chakravarthi
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