8 Things That Definitely Impact Kidney Function

Kidney function is a vital aspect of overall health, as the kidneys play a crucial role in filtering waste products, regulating fluid balance, controlling blood pressure, and producing hormones. Several factors can impact kidney function, either positively or negatively, and it is essential to be aware of these influences to maintain optimal kidney health. 

At Durham Nephrology, we are always looking for ways to share kidney health tips. This also means understanding how your lifestyle is impacting it. Here are some of the critical factors that can affect kidney function. 

kidney function


The food and beverages we consume significantly impact kidney function. A diet high in sodium, processed foods, and unhealthy fats can lead to hypertension and increase the risk of kidney damage. On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and adequate hydration supports kidney health by providing essential nutrients and maintaining proper hydration.


Sufficient fluid intake is essential for kidney function. Water helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the body, preventing the formation of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Chronic dehydration can strain the kidneys and impair their ability to filter waste products effectively. Maintaining a balance and drinking adequate water is essential based on individual needs and activity levels.

This is especially important as the weather heats up, as we can become dehydrated even faster. Replenishing the water in your body is essential. 

Medications and Toxins

Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some antibiotics, can cause kidney damage if used excessively or over a prolonged period. Additionally, exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals or chemicals, can harm the kidneys. It is crucial to follow prescribed medication dosages and precautions and avoid exposure to harmful substances to protect kidney function.


Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease. High blood sugar levels over time can damage the blood vessels and filters in the kidneys, reducing their ability to function correctly. Managing blood sugar levels through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper medication is crucial in preserving kidney function for individuals with diabetes.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is another significant risk factor for kidney disease. Persistent high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to reduced kidney function over time. Regular blood pressure monitoring, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and taking prescribed medications can help manage hypertension and protect kidney health.


Smoking is detrimental to kidney function. It can decrease blood flow to the kidneys, impair the ability to filter waste, and increase the risk of kidney cancer. Quitting smoking is beneficial not only for kidney health but also for overall well-being.


Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing kidney disease. Excess weight strains the kidneys and can lead to conditions like diabetes and hypertension, further contributing to kidney damage. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is crucial for kidney health.

Genetics and Family History 

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to kidney disease. Certain genetic conditions, such as polycystic kidney disease, can affect kidney function. It is essential to be aware of family history and inform healthcare providers to monitor and manage kidney health effectively.

Regular check-ups, monitoring kidney function through blood and urine tests, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are crucial to preserving kidney function. Individuals can take proactive measures to protect these vital organs and maintain optimal overall well-being by being mindful of the factors that can impact kidney health. If you have questions about maintaining your kidney health, we are here to help. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 477-3005 for more information. 


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