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Breathe In, Filter Out: Unveiling the hidden link between air quality and kidney health

The delicate tie between air quality and kidney health must be paid attention to in the big weave of health. In doing so, we have to guard ourselves as closely against the invisible dangers that are all around us, that we filter out of the air when we inhale.

Edited By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: November 20, 2023 19:06 IST
air quality and kidney health
Image Source : FREEPIK Unveiling the hidden link between air quality and kidney health.

The air we breathe in is one of the many things we tend to ignore in the mad rush that characterizes our day-to-day activities. According to Dr Swapnil Mehta - Pulmonologist, Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, breath can kill us silently without us knowing even though it contains an undetectable danger for the essential organs of the body. Air quality and the kidneys have never been discussed, but this is what we discover here.

The Invisible Threat:

In discussing AQI, the concern is more on the effects of the pollutants on respiratory health. Poor air quality may lead to significant renal adverse effects that have hitherto rarely received sufficient consideration. Researchers know very well that air pollution increases the risk of respiratory diseases, but they are now worrying about how much air could be bad for our general well-being, including our kidneys.

How Air Pollution Creeps In: 

To this end, we start by examining how pollutants penetrate our bodies. Our system takes in fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other airborne contaminants through the respiratory system. In the short term, this leads to respiratory problems but has long-term impacts on different organs from the lungs.

Kidneys: The Unlikely Victims:

Surprisingly enough, the kidney, which plays a critical role in expelling out waste and unnecessary fluids from the blood to produce urine, becomes the unintentional sufferer of air pollution. Pollution studies reveal the relation between exposure and the probability of experiencing kidney disorders such as CKD and renal failure. These toxic airs will impair the fragile filtering system of the kidney.

Connecting the Dots:

Science also states that, the response due to inhalation of polluted air results in kidney oxidative stress and further inflammation. The presence of pollutants might also lead to hypertension and diabetes which are very important in the development of renal diseases. This is a slow process that is often sneaky, and it’s not until there is an indication of kidney dysfunctions that this becomes evident.

Protecting Our Kidneys:

However, it all begins with an acknowledgement that indeed air pollution poses a real threat to kidney health. The ways of improving our kidney health include; implementing strategies that can enhance indoor air quality, reducing exposure to outdoor pollutants, and advocating for sustainable environmental policies.

Comprehending this covert linkage impels us to lobby for a more breathable atmosphere not only for our lungs but also for the mute soldiers, and our kidneys, ceaselessly fighting off our inner environment. Let’s breathe in mindfulness and weed out the poisons that endanger our vital organs in a bid for a healthier future.


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