The stressors we all face in our daily lives can often be ignored and pushed past, but have you ever wondered how stress affects your body? Well, it is a well known fact that staying tense and stressed about things can take a toll on your heart, digestion and even your immunity. In this post DrBhaveshVora, consultant nephrologist and transplant physician, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, tells you how stress can affect your kidneys.
How does stress affect your kidney function? Increases your blood pressure: Stress can give rise to hypertension, and since high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney disease (apart from diabetes), stress can lead to an increase in blood pressure and have an adverse effect on your kidney function. Can cause your blood sugar levels to plummet: Stress can worsen your diabetes and often is the reason for uncontrolled blood sugar.
Increases the number of cigarettes you smoke: A common phenomenon in people these days is to smoke to relieve stress. This is again a very bad habit as smoking is very harmful to your kidneys as it causes a reduction in the blood circulation in the organ, which in turn can lead to kidney disease. You may also like to read about the 25 things that happen in your body when you smoke.
Can sudden high levels of stress have an effect on your kidneys? Not really, but yes it can compound over time and lead to kidney disease. For instance, if you drink less water or smoke too much due to stress, then in the long run it can lead to kidney disease.
Can kidney damage due to stress related ailments be reversed with a healthy lifestyle? Yes. In fact, it is possible at any stage — even when the kidney damage is severe. For instance, if a person is going to need dialysis in the next five years, with the right lifestyle modifications he/she will most likely need it only after about 10-15 years or may not require it at all in his life time → lifetime. You may also like to read about the natural ways to keep your kidneys healthy.
That being said, while the structural damage that is present cannot be reversed, the functional damage can be. Therefore, by making essential changes in your lifestyle such as drinking enough water and staying hydrated, reducing stress levels, controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, eating healthy, quitting smoking and drinking and exercising regularly, you will be able to see a significant change in your kidney function.
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