The harmful effects of smoking are widely known because it has been proven time and time again that the habit is linked to fatal conditions such as lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and coronary heart disease. It also reduces the ability to smell and taste and is said to cause premature wrinkling of the skin. However, what most people don’t know is that smoking affects the kidneys too. Yes, you heard it right. It does not just affect your lungs in particular, but it also hits your Kidneys too.
According to WebMD, active and passive smoking can cause harmful effects to kidneys and to those who already have a kidney disease, they are contributing to the progress of their condition through smoking. Basically, the harmful effects of smoking to our kidneys are:
Accelerate the loss of kidney function.
Reduce blood flow to the kidneys.
Increase heart rate and blood pressure.
Narrowing of blood vessels in the kidneys.
Damage to branches of arteries.
This may not sound so threatening or scary because of the impression that little is known about such cases and we don’t ever hear anyone dying from a Kidney disease because of excessive smoking. Yes, that may seem correct and true but who knows? Indications may not be visible right now but if you continue to smoke or be surrounded with smokers, it could hit you unexpectedly. It is best if you start to take care of your kidneys and all the other parts of your body before it’s too late. You know what they say, prevention is better than cure.
For those who already have a kidney disease like kidney stones or chronic kidney disease, it is best to not disregard this information. One stick of cigarette may not be alarming to you, but remember that one stick of cigarette contains more than 7,000 different harmful chemicals such as tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide along with the addictive nicotine. Many of these chemicals are chemically active and can trigger both small and big changes in our body which do us more harm than good.
Furthermore, we all know that it’s hard to quit smoking or it’s hard to make our family members to quit smoking for the basic reason that it is truly addictive. Yes, that is right. However, there are ways to quit smoking. There may not be an easy way out, but there is a way if self-discipline is put first and implemented well. If you happen to think of quitting, here are some tips that might help you:
Talk to your doctor for any advices and ask him or her if there’s anything that could replace nicotine that’s not harmful to your system.
Encourage and motivate yourself to not give in when you crave. You can use alternatives such as chewing gum or candy, converse with friends and family members and try to find a different habit (that is safe, of course!).
Encourage and motivate yourself by joining quit-smoking programs.
Look for a new hobby that can keep your mind busy.
Keep trying and trying until you finally find yourself free from smoking.
The first try may be the hardest but you have to put it in your mind and heart that this is only for your own good and for the sake of the people who love and care for you, because when the time comes that you will be suffering from a disease, they will also suffer emotionally too. So stop smoking and give yourself an opportunity to enjoy life longer with the people you love and have a happier and healthier kidney too!