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Alert: Vitamin D Deficiency Is Linked To Kidney Disease

Alert: Vitamin D Deficiency Is Linked To Kidney Disease

The kidneys are organs situated in our midsection on both sides of our spine, just above the waist. They clean our blood, keep the balance of sodium and minerals in our veins, and help control blood pressure.

When our kidneys are injured, waste materials and fluid can accumulate in our body, causing swelling in our ankles, vomiting, helplessness, inadequate sleep, and abruptness of breath. If we don’t treat them, diseased kidneys may eventually stop working altogether. Loss of kidney function is a severe and potentially fatal condition.

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The link between Vitamin D and Kidney Disease

It is common knowledge that drinking too much soda, eating salty foods and holding our bladder could cause kidney troubles. What not many of us know is that the lack of vitamin D may also lead to kidney troubles. Here’s why.

Medical scientists found that those who were deficient in vitamin D were more than twice as likely to have protein in the urine, also called albuminuria. Albuminuria is an early sign of kidney damage. Its presence in the urine suggests that kidneys are damaged because the kidneys should retain protein for use in the body.

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It is unknown if vitamin D levels are a cause or condition of kidney damage. Nevertheless, the research could support and strengthen the issue for a more deliberate vitamin D monitoring and utilize vitamin D levels to identify individuals who may at be at danger of developing kidney disease.

Vitamin D is also responsible for:

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  • Establishing and conserving strong bones
  • Controlling the right level of calcium and phosphorus in our blood
  • Keeping bones from becoming weak or deformed
  • Preventing rickets among children and osteomalacia in adults.

Too much vitamin D can be toxic though, and it is recommended to take a maximum limit of 25 mcg (1,000 IU) for infants and 50 mcg (2,000 IU) for children and adults with normal kidney function.

What are the common signs and symptoms that we might be vitamin D deficient?

  1. You have darker skin, avoid the sunshine and wear sunscreen
  2. You feel depressed and have difficulty thinking clearly.
  3. You must be 50 years old or over
  4. You are overweight
  5. Your bones are either painful or deformed and fracture frequently
  6. You have a sweaty head
  7. Your muscles are weak, and you experience unexplained fatigue

It doesn’t necessarily mean that because we suffer from any of the symptoms suggests that we are vitamin D deficient and have kidney problems. However, if any or many of them apply to us, we should know if our vitamin D level is in the right range and have our vitamin D levels tested.

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It is paramount to remember that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Aside from making sure that our vitamin D levels are correct, we should promote healthier kidneys by staying hydrated and eating a balanced, low-potassium and high-iron diet.

Where do we get vitamin D?

Vitamin D is primarily obtained from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, but the amount of UV rays absorbed and produced into vitamin D depends on our skin color, weight, where we live, the time of the day, the season, clothing and if we are using sunscreen. People who live in sunny countries at lower latitudes obtain sufficient vitamin D compared to people living at higher latitudes, especially during late autumn and winter.

Some foods are naturally good sources of vitamin D. The best food sources of vitamin D are fatty fishes including salmon, sardines, cod, tuna, and halibut. Many foods, such as some breakfast cereals, cheese, soya milk, yogurt, orange juice, margarine, and milk are fortified with vitamin D. Beef, beef liver, mushrooms and egg yolks have proper amounts of vitamin D too.

Featured photo credit: Prosymbols via flaticon.com

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Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher is a passionate writer sharing about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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