Every time a person takes any kind of drug, it will eventually pass through the person’s kidneys. The kidneys are some of the most important organs in the human body. They filter the blood as it passes through them and removes wastes and toxins, allowing the person to expel them in urine. These wastes and toxins cannot be allowed to build up in the person, otherwise organ damage and even death can occur.
When the kidneys no longer perform their function, the person is said to have chronic kidney disease. Those who have chronic kidney disease need to have their blood screened at least three times a week through dialysis while they wait for an organ donor.
Chronic kidney disease can start up very quickly too. It is important to understand what can damage kidneys, especially if your family has a serious risk of chronic kidney disease.
Medications like aspirin, Motrin, Alive, Advil, ibuprofen or naproxen can cause terrible damage to the kidneys if taken too often. Particularly over the last 30 years, the increased use of various medications, including life saving heart medications are putting some at risk of kidney failure. Misuse of these medications is responsible for up to 20% of chronic kidney disease cases every year.
While alcohol is famous for liver damage, heavy drinking can cause damage to the kidneys. Binge drinking, which is consuming four or five drinks within two hours, causes a massive spike in the blood alcohol content of a person. In only a matter of hours, a person can develop acute kidney failure which can be fatal. While it is possible for a person to recover, there is a chance their kidneys may never return to their original level of efficiency.
Alcoholics in particular are already at a high risk of developing chronic kidney disease, but if they have a history of kidney disease in the family they are at even worse risk. The kidneys, in addition to filtering the blood also keep the correct amount of water in the body. Alcohol causes dehydration in the
human body and too much dehydration can cause damage to the kidneys.
Various antibiotics, drugs used to treat infection can damage the kidneys if they are not taken correctly. Aminoglycosides such as tobramycin can become toxic within the kidneys as this area is more sensitive to the toxic effects of drugs. Sulfonamides, a group of antimicrobials, can end up blocking the flow of urine as they produce tiny crystals. Vancomycin can cause the kidneys to swell up and become inflamed. Those with kidney disease should consult their doctor as to the proper dosages and kinds of antibiotics they should be taking.
Prescription laxatives used to clean the bowels can do some serious damage to the kidneys. In addition, taking too many laxatives will cause the kidneys to pass much more water. In addition to dehydration risk, a person can lose larger amounts of electrolytes and minerals than usual.
Worse, continued use can result in kidney stones or possible kidney failure. Severe pain, blood in the urine or urine which is an abnormal color are signs to see a physician immediately as these are signs of kidney stones.
It should not come as a surprise that, along with the dangers of addiction and overdose, illegal drugs can and will do damage to a person’s organs, particularly the kidneys. Side effects can include high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and even death, and that can be only after one use.
For more information about how to support normal kidney function, be sure to check out our backlog of informative articles.