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Published on October 1st, 2019 | by Michaelw

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Top 10 kidney health myths

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There are some dangerous kidney health related myths that we all still believe.
Maybe you believe them too?
Do you believe that being overweight means being unhealthy?

Do you believe that you should avoid bananas to improve your kidney function?

In this case you will be surprised by this top 10: the most dangerous kidney killer myths, ranked from less dangerous to most dangerous and… debunked!

Hello, this is Katherine, welcome to 00Kidney.
Today we debunk kidney health related myths!
You may be surprised by how many of these myths you still believe in!
Is believing in one of these myths what’s actually holding you back from improving your kidney health?
Only one way to know.
Keep watching today’s video!

So let’s start with our number 10: being overweight means being unhealthy. Myth or reality?

It’s a myth! Yes, they’ve always told us that being even a little bit overweight will cause a number of health problems, including kidney disease.
Being overweight doesn’t always make you unhealthy, according to researchers in both the United States and Europe.
This is something that sport fans have always suspected: elite athletes such as the massive NFL linemen need to have the same levels of performance of those tiny Olympic gymnasts to perform at the top of their field.
And this was confirmed by the new researches.
People who are overweight have a fifty-fifty chance of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or elevated blood sugar levels. Pretty good odds, but not as good as those for people who are within the normal weight range. They have a 75% chance of having normal results on blood tests for cholesterol and blood sugar. And for those who are obese, the chance of having normal results falls to one-third.
So, while being overweight doesn’t always mean being unhealthy, trying to be as close as possible to our target weight, eating healthy and having an active lifestyle is always the safest choice if you care about the health of your kidneys.

Number 9 : drinking alcohol will put your kidneys in overdrive
fact: researchers proven that drinking in moderate amounts decreases the risk of kidney disease.
Yes, a large study conducted on over 11.000 healthy people for 14 years and published on the Archives of “Internal Medicine” proved that alcohol can actually improve kidney health.
Moderate amount is the key here. It is actually true that abusing alcohol damages the kidneys and several other organs.
Abusing alcohol even causes high blood pressure, one of the main risk factors for kidney disease.
But, when drunk in moderation, alcohol can raise good cholesterol levels, which has a protective effect on the kidneys, according to this study.
Other health benefits of drinking a moderate amount of alcohol are a reduced risk of ischemic stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
So, what is considered a moderate amount?
Usual guidelines are two drinks a day for men and one for women and men older than age 65.
Examples of one drink are 5 ounces of red wine or 12 ounces of beer.
So, should you start drinking if you don’t?
While alcohol has some documented health benefits, the health related risks and possible problems are many, so I won’t recommend you to start drinking if you don’t.
But don’t feel guilty for that glass of wine you drink once in a while!
Oh, well, still no alcohol for me though. Do you know?
70% of people from East Asia have Asian Flushing Syndrome. Alcohol is actually toxic for me! Thumbs down.

Number 8 people with kidney disease in the advanced stages should completely avoid bananas and other high potassium fruits
So, is it a myth that people with CKD should avoid potassium rich fruits?
Well, it actually may be.
Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are recommended by their doctor to limit potassium intake.
This is definitely not a myth, hyperkalemia is no joke and you should always follow the directions your doctor gave you.
But, you may actually be able to eat some high potassium fruits and vegetables like banana, Avocado, mango, cantaloupe and more.
“The practice of advising patients to eliminate so many plant foods from the diet may be harmful,” reported Renal and Urology News.
It causes patients to feel frustrated and depressed because they are unable to enjoy their favorite foods.
There’s also lack of evidence linking high dietary potassium intake to Hyperkalemia (High Blood Potassium) in dialysis patients, suggested a study published on the Journal of Renal Nutrition.
In addition to impairing nutrition status and quality of life, advising dialysis patients to limit or avoid many plant-based  foods, especially fruits and vegetables, may contribute to some metabolic problems.
Conditions like an higher oxidative stress on the organs, inflammation, swelling, metabolic acidosis and higher blood cholesterol are all associated with a diet poor in these potassium rich fruits.
There are even studies showing that the potassium excretion in the stool is a lot higher in people with chronic kidney disease, especially in those who ingest plant-based foods.
This may indicate that the body would still find a way to get rid of the excess potassium, in a way or the other.
Yes, there are a lot of reasons why these Researchers are questioning the practice of deterring patients from eating fruits and vegetables.
What’s not under question is that Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should keep following the low potassium renal diet their doctor prescribed them.
So don’t  start to eat all those high potassium fruits and vegetable at once.
Instead, talk to your dietician and find a way to include more healthy fruits and vegetables to make your renal diet more variated.

Number 7, Coffee and caffeine are a cause of kidney disease and even kidney cancer.

Is it a myth that coffee damages the kidneys?

Yes it is!
Fact: caffeine is the most used drug in the world and a large quantity of studies has been done about it.
It’s proven that if you drink coffee without exceeding 3 or 4 cups per day you won’t have any of these health problems from it.
What researchers found out, is that coffee contains a wide range of antioxidants.
Caffeine may reduce the risk of liver, mouth and throat cancer by 50%.
It has positive effects on the brain, may boost memory and reduce suicide risk.
It also protects our body from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
Now, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney disease, so anything that can help against it can help fighting kidney disease. Caffeine included.
There’s even a review of studies conducted on 800,000 test subjects showing that caffeine can actually decrease the risk for kidney cancer by 16%.
Another really popular myth about coffee is that it is dehydrating.

But this is not true: while coffee has a diuretic effect, it is actually as hydrating as water.
So it is confirmed that coffee won’t cause any problem to your kidneys!

Number 6 eating a protein rich diet or protein supplements will hurt your kidneys
This is another myth that is incredibly widespread and rooted in our culture. Even people who never went to the gym, not once in their lives know this: if you eat too much protein, you will hurt your kidneys. You will end up on dialysis, if you keep eating that steak.
But is it true?

 

Well, it’s not true, it’s just a myth.
Actually, what scientists say is that if you eat more protein, you will actually increase, and not decrease, kidney function.
Health experts routinely advocate the benefits of protein for many reasons: it boosts metabolism, increases satiety making one feel fuller for longer,

promotes fat loss,

helps build muscle during weight training and helps to preserves muscle, particularly in the elderly.
This is especially true for people who pair a high protein diet with a high intensity training program.
There is simply no evidence linking a high-protein diet to kidney disease.
And this is true both for healthy individuals and those who are at risk of kidney disease due to conditions such as hypertension or type 2 diabetes.
So, while it’s just a myth that protein can cause kidney damage in people with healthy kidneys, there’s still some truth in it when it comes to people with kidney disease.
If your kidney function is compromised, you can actually damage your kidneys if you eat more protein than recommended by your dietician.

But this is only true for people with kidney disease.
So eat all the protein you want if your kidneys are 100% healthy but be very careful with them if you have kidney disease.

 

Number 5 we’re half way through! If you enjoyed this video till now, give it a like! And share it with your friends if you think they will like it too!
Number 5 Eggs are bad for your cholesterol and kidneys.
A lot of people are convinced that eggs are unhealthy.
Eggs are full of cholesterol, which will increase your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, harm the kidneys and the cardiovascular system. So they are unhealthy.
Can’t argue with this reasoning, right?
Well, you can, actually. Many things people think to know about eggs are not based on any real research or study.
There has been a lot of disinformation about eggs, since organizations like the American Heart Association have been demonizing eggs for decades, convincing a lot of people that they should avoid eating eggs.
BUT, today we know that a lot of the diseases that were imputed to dietary fat and cholesterol are now well known to be caused BY SUGAR CONSUMPTION.
So, they told us eggs were causing obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol… then, studies found out that what was really causing all these diseases was sugary foods all the time.
So it’s just a myth that eggs can hurt your kidney health and your heart health.
The opposite may be true, actually.
Eggs have excellent nutritional values, they’re rich in high quality protein, vitamin A,  vitamin B6, vitamin D, cobalamin, magnesium, iron… and all these nutrients are really useful for our bodies and kidneys.
Also there are studies disproving the correlation between cholesterol in diet and blood cholesterol levels.
Especially considered that the egg white has the property of lowering bad cholesterol in the blood.
Still, it may be not advised to eat more than 2 or 3 egg yolks per week, especially for people suffering from kidney disease or high blood cholesterol levels.
So eat eggs in moderation, if you want to get all these benefits from what should be considered one of the healthiest sources of protein for a balanced renal diet.

Number 4: Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis

I can’t…
Ok, this isn’t really correlated to kidney health, but since it’s a fun one I’ve still put it in my list.
If you crack your knuckles you will get arthritis.

How many times have you heard this?
Well, it’s actually… a myth!
Cracking your knuckles may annoy the people around you, but it’ not connected to an higher risk for arthritis.
That’s the conclusion of several studies that compared rates of hand arthritis among habitual

knuckle-crackers and people who didn’t crack their knuckles.

Researchers say that what causes the “pop” in a cracked knuckle is actually just bubbles of nitrogen bursting in the fluid present between the joints.
Your joints are surrounded by a capsule, or sac. The capsule contains a liquid called synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant and prevents friction so the joints can move around smoothly.
Synovial fluid contains small nitrogen bubbles.
When you crack your knuckles, you stretch the space between your finger joints, which causes the bubbles to burst and create that popping sound.
The reason you can’t crack the same knuckle or joint twice in a row is because it takes some time for the gas bubbles to accumulate again in the joint.
Even more interesting, there’s a man, a doctor actually, called Donald L. Unger, who for 60 years cracked only the knuckles of his left hand, at least twice daily.
But he never cracked his right hand’s knuckles, so he could compare the two and eventually prove that cracking your hands won’t cause arthritis.
After 60 years he didn’t developed arthritis in either hand, proving his theory.
So, yes, both Cracking joints and cracking knuckles have not been shown to be harmful or beneficial.
And, for sure, they don’t cause arthritis.

Just a question before we move on to the top 3:

how many of these myths did you actually believe?

Write it down in comment section!

Number 3 You don’t really need to floss
This is a dangerous health myth that could actually damage your kidneys.
Some people think that a bad oral health will just damage their teeth.
But there is proof that your oral health is more important than you might realize.
More and more research is showing that oral health is closely tied to your general health.
Problems in your mouth can actually affect the rest of your body, researchers say,
because the oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with gum disease might play a role in some conditions.
Bad oral health can actually play a role in systemic diseases such as pneumonia, endocarditis, cardiovascular disease and even diabetes.
How is this possible?
Like other areas of the body, your mouth contains bacteria – mostly harmless.
But your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and when these bacteria grow out of control they can actually cause diseases.
What to do to avoid these problems and to protect your oral health?
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly and use mouthwash.
Even an healthy diet can help, since sugar rich foods are dangerous for the oral health.

Number 2 Juice is a healthy alternative to sodas and carbonated beverages.
Well… it is actually not a myth that carbonated and sugary beverages are unhealthy.
But what about juices?
It is true that 100% fruit juice is a source of nutrients like vitamin C and potassium… or whatever they want to put in it.
Still juice doesn’t contain all the same fiber and phytonutrients that raw fruits have.
So you won’t get all the benefits.
Even if the fruit juice is labelled as “100% pure” and “not from concentrate”, it is still a processed food.
The fruits used for the juice are usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for several months before the product is packaged.
This removes all the flavor from the fruit, so what you taste in fruit juices is actually added flavors and sugar.
Yes, the main problem is that packaged juices are full of sugar, giving you a rapid rise in insulin.
Sugar then gets pumped into fat cells and ultimately converted to fat.
These liquid calories are more unhealthy than calories from solid foods. They have a negative effect on hunger, hormones and body weight.
The ingestion of juice also increases food intake.
So it’s better to avoid fruit juices at all.
Instead of swapping soda for juice, stick to water, green tea, or coffee.

 

Number 1 and our most dangerous kidney killer myth is…

Cigarette smoking!
Cigarette smoking doesn’t directly harm the kidneys.
Yes, this is a really popular and really dangerous myth.
Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes can damage your lungs and causes cancer…
But if you tell people that smoking will DIRECTLY harm their kidneys they look at you and say: NO WAYYY!
A lot of people clearly seem to think that the kidneys are totally different organs from the lungs, so how can a bad habit harm both at the same time?
Still there are several studies proving that smoking causes hypertension, or high blood pressure, the second leading cause of kidney disease.
It can cause severe damage to the cardiovascular system and these damage will directly affect the kidneys too.
Smoking slows down the blood flow to the kidneys, causing both short and long term damage, according to researchers.
The only good news about smoking is that people who quit smoking have been observed to have fewer kidney abnormalities than current smokers.
So it’s never too late to quit this dangerous bad habit.

 


About the Author

Hi, my name is Michael and in this blog I'm gonna share the story of how I got off kidney dialysis for good. Getting off dialysis isn't easy at all, and that's why I'm trying to help people as much as I can.



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