A website dedicated to creating awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney diseases around the globe, kidney.org states that a little alcohol – one or two drinks now and then – usually has no serious effects on one’s body. It is, in fact, considered to be a healthy practice.
However, things start to get bad when this ‘practice’ of taking one or two drinks now and then translate into a regular habit and start adversely affecting one’s health. What begins as a casual etiquette with drinks taken in peer pressure or at office parties turns into an addiction in no time; that too without any realization of it. And of all our organs, it is our kidneys that take the maximum damage.
Too much of alcohol causes a change in the functioning of the kidneys that makes them less able to filter your blood and keep the right amount of water in your body. It also makes you likely to have high blood pressure and liver issue that eventually adds to the kidney’s job.
And that, my friend, is a lot to take in for a sweet pair of the tender organ.
When an expert says one drink, he refers to one 12-ounce bottle of beer or one glass of wine (5 ounces), or one shot (1.5 ounces) of “hard liquor.”
And one ounce equals to 29.57 ml, so you do the math!
Experts say that while having more than three drinks in a day or more than seven per week is considered ‘heavy,’ for men, it’s more than four drinks in a day or more than 14 per week. Anyone drinking above the set limits can be called a ‘heavy drinkers’ and have double the risk for a kidney disease compared to a non-drinker.
The first thing that one needs to do is gradually reduce the amount alcohol consumption.
The deal here is to check if you cross the above-mentioned limits and know the category you fall in – healthy drinker or a heavy drink. And for the ones falling in the latter category, reducing the consumption can result in withdrawal symptoms like sweating, anxiety, and nausea in the beginning. But setting a goal helps a lot. Having “As of this date, I will only drink on Fridays and Saturdays,” marked on your calendar goes a long way, suggests this wikiHow article.
Another practice that goes a ling way is to exercise. Physical exercises help the body’s organs of elimination to function optimally. Not only does your urinary and bowel movements start performing as it ideally should, your lungs start to pump more blood to the body as well, cleansing and purifying it in the process.
Also, physical activities also release endorphins that further help in fighting depression and anxiety that detoxing causes.
And exercising doesn’t always mean lifting weights. Playing out in the field can do wonders for the body as well.
And now things come to the diet that you have!
Nutritionists suggest that, if you have been a heavy drinker, having foods that are rich is antioxidants are a great help in neutralizing free radicals and protect the body. Veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, onions and garlic have the right amount of fiber in them that is required to neutralize the toxic substances that damage one’s kidney and apples, on the other hand, when consumed with skin, reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation and protect against heart diseases. Not just that, it reduces the risk of cancer as well.
While berries like blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and raspberries are also great, eggs and fishes should be included in the diet without fail. Studies show that egg whites provide protein with less phosphorus and are a boon to the kidney.
While the withdrawal symptoms settle down in a week, what follows is irritability, headaches, and insomnia. And in such cases, all that one needs is someone by their side. Not necessarily a love interest, but parents, siblings or friends, anyone you feel compassionate to would do.
Just remember – what begins as a casual etiquette with drinks taken in peer pressure or at office parties turns into an addiction in no time; that too without any realization of it. It’s better you realise it now!