– An open letter
I have been loyal to you since you were in the womb and served you dutifully until now. I never asked you for a holiday. I have worked every day. Even if I have offended you, I do not deserve the treatment you are meting out to me.
For many months now, you have been loading me with salt. I keep absorbing water to help me cope with the high salt bombardment. Now, I have absorbed so much water that your blood pressure is much higher than it should be. This has created enmity between me and your heart who is forced to overwork. It keeps blaming me for its misfortune and, in return, strokes me.
As if that is not enough, you refuse to exercise thereby starving me of oxygen supply. This has compromised my fitness. Instead of providing me with enough oxygen, you decided to pump me with lots of herbal concoctions and supplements which make me sicker. Some of them clog together and form stones in me, pinching me and making me uncomfortable. How I wish you could see my tears!!!
You have so damaged me that I can no longer do my duty as security guard. Imagine ordinary proteins run through me to your urine. I can barely stop them. They mock me as they pass through. Why? What have I done? Is it a sin for me to occupy a vital position in your body?
To make matters worse, when you felt a little of my pain, instead of getting help from your doctor and pharmacist, you bombarded me with deadly pain killers and strong antibiotics. Now, I am just too weak to go on. Why? Why? Why? What have I done to deserve all these?
Your frustrated servant.
The kidneys are very vital organs that help us to regulate our body fluid (mainly electrolytes and water). These two bean-shaped organs perform two major functions –
- maintain electrolyte and water balance between the blood and urine by filtering the blood before sending it back to the heart
- remove wastes from the body through urine
Obviously, the kidneys work with the heart and are both involved in controlling our blood pressure.
It is therefore particularly important that we protect our kidneys. Unfortunately, some people indulge in some habits that may damage these indispensable organs. Among factors that may damage the kidneys are certain drugs, especially when used inappropriately. Our major interest in this article is to look at how one might be harming one’s kidneys with drugs.
Drugs that may harm our kidneys include:
You may damage your kidneys if you take high doses of some over-the-counter pain relievers known as NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen or if you take them longer than you should. Sometimes, regular doses may pose a threat to your kidneys if combined with certain medications or if your kidney is already compromised. Many times, damage to the kidney by pain relievers are aftermath of self-medication. Please discuss with your pharmacist or doctor before taking pain relievers.
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics may damage your kidneys. Please do not use antibiotics if not prescribed by your doctor and dispensed by your pharmacist.
Illicit or hard drugs: Many street or hard drugs like heroin and cocaine can damage the kidneys.
Alcohol: Heavy drinking may damage your kidneys.
Herbal medicines or nutritional supplements: A number of herbal medicines or nutritional supplements have been implicated in kidney damage especially in people at risk of kidney damage. Some research works have shown that a good number of herbal medicines or supplements including ginseng and ginger have the potential to cause kidney damage in people at risk of kidney disease or damage. There are many such herbals so please discuss with your doctor and pharmacist if you are at risk of kidney disease or have kidney disease before taking herbal supplements or medicines. Those at risk of kidney disease include hypertensives and diabetics.
Please note that all drugs you take pass through your kidneys. Therefore, misusing or abusing medicines can hurt your kidney, Your pharmacist is a trained drug expert who, along with your doctor and other healthcare professionals work together to safeguard your health. Discuss your medications with him/her. Let them know the combinations of medicines (and herbs) you are using at all times to ensure it is safe for you.
All drugs, herbal medicines and nutritional supplements pass through the kidneys and may cause harm if taken inappropriately.
Indiscriminate use of painkillers, antibiotics or other drugs may damage your kidney.
Do not take ‘’prescription only” medicines without prescription from your doctor.
Always take your prescription to a registered pharmacy and discuss with the pharmacist.
Discuss with your pharmacist or doctor before taking herbal medicine or nutritional supplement if you have any underlying medical condition.
Disclaimer : This write-up is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s advice. Please consult your doctor appropriately.
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