The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal cavity just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine.

To stay healthy, it is essential to keep the kidneys functioning properly. Some common symptoms that can indicate kidney problems are a change in color and quantity of your urine, dizziness, vomiting, anemia, breathing issues, feeling cold most of the time, tiredness or fatigue, itchy skin, bad breath and sudden pain in the body.

Pulse.com.gh brings you 7 common habits that harm your kidneys you did not know off.

1. Sitting still

Sitting for long durations of time has now been associated with the development of kidney disease. Though researchers don’t know yet why or how sedentary time or physical activity directly impact kidney health, it is known that greater physical activity is associated with improved blood pressure and glucose metabolism, both important factors in kidney health.

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2. Missing Out on Sleep

A good night is essential to your overall well-being and, it turns out, your kidneys. Kidney function is regulated by the sleep-wake cycle which helps coordinate the kidneys’ workload over 24 hours.

3. Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking lots of water is also one of the best ways to avoid painful kidney stones. Staying well hydrated helps your kidneys clear sodium and toxins from the body. Those with kidney problems or kidney failure may need to restrict their fluid intake, but for most people, drinking 1.5 to 2 liters (3 to 4 pints) of water per day is a healthy target.

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4. Overusing Painkillers

Abusing pain medicines may alleviate your aches and pains, but they can harm the kidneys, especially if you already have kidney disease. Reduce your regular use of NSAIDs and never go over the recommended dosage.

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5. Smoking

Sure, lighting up isn’t good for your lungs or your heart. But did you know that smoking may not be good for your kidneys either? People who smoke are more likely to have protein in the urine – a sign of kidney damage.

6. Eating Too Much Meat

Animal protein generates high amounts of acid in the blood that can be harmful to the kidneys and cause acidosis – a condition in which kidneys cannot eliminate acid fast enough. Protein is needed for growth, upkeep, and repair of all parts of the body but your diet should be well balanced with fruits and vegetables.

7.Alcohol in Excess

Regular heavy drinking – more than four drinks a day – has been found to double the risk chronic kidney diseases. Heavy drinkers who also smoke have an even higher risk of kidney problems. Smokers who are heavy drinkers have about five times the chance of developing chronic kidney disease than people who don’t smoke or drink alcohol to excess.