We created this short quiz to help you check if your lifestyle choices are suitable for your kidneys. Answer every question honestly - then check the optimal answer to find helpful information.
How much water do you drink daily?
- I drink a LOT of water (more than 10 cups daily), as my physician said that’s good for kidney health!
- I drink water when I’m thirsty, but I don’t push my water intake
- I don’t drink much water. I usually prefer juices, sodas, coffee, tea, and other drinks.
Correct answer: 2
Answer A is a common and hugely popular misconception that ”a generous water intake is good for the kidneys.” In general, this is an old myth that’s not supported by modern scientific studies and could be downright dangerous for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Drinking little to no water and always going for soft drinks, tea, coffee, and sodas instead isn’t a good attitude either, as these drinks usually come with additives and sugar that aren’t very good for the kidneys.
You need to drink 8 glasses of water or every time you are thirsty unless there is a specific health reason when increased water intake would be a good idea. Here’s a fabulous article from the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology for those interested.
Discuss your water intake with your nephrologist.
Do you drink alcohol?
- No, that’s not my thing
- I drink from time to time, but never more than one glass of wine
- I drink every day but try to stay in control
Correct answer: 1 or 2
No matter how you look at it, alcohol is a toxin, and there is some evidence suggesting that alcohol could impair kidney function.
However, if you do drink, the recommended maximum daily dose is two drinks for men and one drink for women or older people (65 years and up). One serving size, in this case, amounts to a bottle of beer (12 ounces), a glass of wine (5 ounces), or a shot of liquor (about 1.5 ounces).
To summarize, abstaining from drinking alcohol is the best decision for kidney health. Patients with kidney disease must talk with a nephrologist before drinking alcohol.
Do you smoke?
- Huh? Smoking has nothing to do with the kidneys
- I never smoked
- I quit
Correct answer: 3 or 4
Smoking damages all organs and systems in the body and many scientific studies report that smoking impairs kidney health. Smokers with high blood pressure and diabetes have the highest risk for smoking-associated kidney damage. By the way, the same study we mentioned above reported that former smokers did not have an increased risk for CKD, so that’s another reason for dropping the habit!
This quiz is brief and simple—but kidney health is much more complicated than that.
Pay attention to your kidneys and get help from a nephrologist if you are not doing the right thing for your kidneys.
Proper guidance and smart lifestyle changes can help you avoid CKD or significantly slow down its progression, giving you a better quality of life with healthy kidneys for decades to come.
Call us or make an appointment if we can help you!