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Smoking is injurious to health– Part 2: Effect on kidneys

11-03 | By CSAA Team

Smoking is injurious to health– Part 2: Effect on kidneys

Smoking can damage kidneys like any other part of the body. It is well-known that smoking is harmful to lungs, heart and the brain, but recent studies have shown that smokers also have higher chances of getting their kidneys damaged as compared to non-smokers.

In the first article of the series, “Smoking is injurious to health,” we discussed why one needs to quit smoking. In this article, we focus on the effects of smoking on kidneys. The reason why we chose this topic is that the effect of smoking on kidneys is relatively less known.

Chronic kidney disease

To know about how chronic kidney disease develops, it is important to understand how the kidneys work. Kidneys are the blood purifiers of the body. They purify impure blood and expel it out of the body in the form of urine through the large vessels that open up in the kidneys. For kidneys to keep working well, it must get enough blood supply from these vessels.

When people smoke continually, these vessels get blocked. As a result, the kidneys do not receive the appropriate amount of blood needed to complete the purification process. This causes injury to the kidneys and they are unable to purify the blood. This malfunction is known as chronic kidney disease and it is a serious health problem.

Smoking damages the kidneys

Smoking adversely affects the kidneys of people suffering from diabetes, but a study has shown that smoking can also bring about changes in the kidney functions of otherwise healthy people, i.e., even those who are non-diabetic.

The study, which appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine some years ago, done by a group of researchers from the Netherlands found that compared with nonsmokers, the smokers had higher levels of albumin in their urine. Moreover, the bodies of smokers were slower to wash out another substance called creatinine. The presence of these substances in urine are the early signs of kidney dysfunction. However, the smokers often don’t realize it as these conditions usually don’t have any symptoms. The only way to detect the problem is by testing the blood and urine samples, which is generally not done until a major problem arises.

The good news is that after quitting smoking, the albumin levels in urine start to decrease and within a year it return to their normal levels. However, if the albumin levels go on increasing, a serious condition known as microalbuminuria may develop.

Smokers’ kidney function may be impaired

Another study on smokers has revealed that men who smoke have three times more chances of a reduced kidney function in comparison with male non-smokers. Studies have also found that if a person smokes more than a pack every day, the chances of chronic kidney failure increases by a whopping 51 percent as compared to non-smokers.

These results clearly show that smoking is injurious for the kidneys. Earlier, it was believed that smoking may have negative effects on the kidneys, but researchers have now been able to prove conclusively that smoking does hurt the kidneys. To avoid this kind of damage to the kidneys one should either not smoke or quit smoking forever.

Get rid of the harmful habit of smoking

If you want to get rid of smoking and are aware of the damage it causes to the kidneys, do take help from the substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. These provide evidence-based treatments in helping people quit smoking, alcohol and drugs and have a proven track record.

To learn about successful substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado, have a chat with representatives at the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors. Alternately, call our 24/7 substance abuse helpline 866-300-5857 to learn about other benefits of taking help from experts to quit smoking.

Read the other articles of the series, “Smoking is injurious to health”:

Part 1: Time to kick the butt!


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