Are you diabetic? Are you fond of taking pain-killers to ease your body pain? Do you take them frequently or everytime you feel any sort of pain? If yes… look for a kidney donor as probably you might be losing your own soon!!!
Pain-killers, especially the wrong ones, taken during diabetes lead to damage in kidneys, even kidney failure, say experts.
Doctors say the use of pain-killers, particularly NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) harms the tubules in the kidneys that often leads to kidney failure.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a class of drugs that provide analgesic (pain-killing), antipyretic (fever-reducing) effects, and anti-inflammatory effects in higher doses. Hence, these are not suitable for diabetes patients.
“Most diabetics, especially those who have diabetes over a decade are more prone to kidney damage. Taking a pain killer especially NSAIDs (Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) increases your chances of acute kidney injury and failure” said Pradeep Gadge, consultant diabetologist, Gadge’s Diabetes Centre and Visiting Consultant at Breach Candy and Sevenhills Hospital.
Kidney Failure Symptoms
The worst part about kidney damage is that no symptoms are seen in the initial stages. With the progress in the kidney failure, the following symptoms may be evident:
• Pain in the back, below the rib cage
• Vomiting and nausea
• Swelling of hands and feet
• Anemia, dizziness
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
Emphasizing on the fact that not all pain killers are harmful for diabetes patients, Gadge explained diabetes patients should use those pain killers which are safer from kidney perspective.
Prateek Saikia, diabetologist of Safdarjung (Delhi, AIMS) says, “Pain killers cause damage of the tubules in the kidneys and leads to increase in creatinine”. “The problem is not always reversible. It may lead to acute renal failure patient may need dialysis and rarely even die” she further adds.
According to the WHO factsheet, India is a home to 65 million diabetic patients and the number being second only to China. According to a recent analysis by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, it was revealed that change in lifestyle with lack of sleep were among the top reasons behind the occurrence of the disease.
• Urine tests – Carried out to check protein levels. An abnormally high level of protein in the urine is one of the first signs of kidney failure.
• Blood pressure – Regular checks for increased blood pressure are essential. Raised blood pressure is caused by kidney failure and also contributes to its progression.
• Blood tests – to check the degree of kidney function.
• Biopsy – a small tag of tissue is removed from the kidney, through a slender needle and examined in a lab. This is usually performed when there is doubt about whether kidney damage is due to diabetes or due to another cause.
• Kidney ultrasound – this enables the size of the kidneys to be imaged and allows the arteries to the kidneys to be checked for narrowing that can cause decreased kidney function.
Prevention of Kidney Damage
“Diabetes patients should avoid certain antibiotics such as amikacin, especially if they already have kidney problem. Also certain antibiotics like Gatifloxacin can cause severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels and can be dangerous” said Saikia.
Since you may not be able to avoid taking medicines under certain conditions, here are a few ways in which you can reduce damage to your kidneys:
• Avoid self-medication
• Avoid taking over the counter pain killers.
• Avoid habituating yourself to particular medicines such as sleeping pills or painkillers. Instead follow a healthy lifestyle.
• Toxicity is often related to dosage and frequency. Make sure you are not overusing drugs
• Long-term consumption of drugs should be only under supervision
• Drink adequate fluids to flush out the toxins
• Avoid drinking alcohol
• Take ample of sleep.