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The first thing to know is that alcohol consumption does not cause kidney failure. Excessive alcohol consumption causes liver damage.
Kidney disease can be a primary condition, the most common of which is kidney stone. This condition, if not controlled can severely damage the kidneys. Other medical conditions that cause the deterioration of the kidneys are diabetes, hypertension (blood pressure) and atherosclerosis.
Men are more prone to kidney infections, especially when age catches up and they suffer from an enlarged prostate gland. Pregnant women are susceptible to Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) which can spread to the kidneys and affect them.
Kidney problems can also be a side-effect of common medication, such as aspirin, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac etc., when used over a long period of time, without a doctor's supervision. Calcium and Vitamin D supplements also damage the organ.
To avoid kidney disease, drink a lot of fluids, so the kidneys get flushed out, periodically. Include vegetables and fruits in your diet and cut down on fatty foods.
What you eat is very important, especially if you have a kidney problem or suffering from health issues that harm the kidneys. Foods rich in phosphorous contribute to kidney stones of the calcium phosphate variety. These include all kinds of meats, dairy, nuts and beans.
Foods that are rich in oxalate increase the risk of uric acid stones. Foods to avoid include green leafy veggies, beetroot, chocolate, tea and sweet potatoes to name a few.
Avoid these foods only if you have a history of kidney stones. It is best to consult a dietician for a proper diet chart rather than eliminating foods on your own as doing so could cause nutritional deficiency.
Other conditions that cause kidney damage are bacterial infections called nephritis. Kidneys can also become damaged because of infections in the body.
Follow a healthy lifestyle and drink a lot of fluids. You should pass at least 2 litres of urine every day, to keep stones from forming.
Information sourced from a Reader's Digest Health Guide
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