Three Dull Yet Essential Tips for Protecting Your Kidneys

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, it is important for you to know about the risks and complications associated with contrast dyes, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and antimicrobial medications. Always consult with your nephrologist before any of the following are administered or taken even if prescribed by another physician. Your nephrologist may recommend alternative treatments.

1) Iodinated Contrast Dyes
Contrast dye is a substance which is used to enhance the visibility of certain organs or tissues during medical imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs, or X-rays. There are two types of dye: Iodinated and gadolinium. While contrast dye is generally considered safe, it can cause complications in people who have kidney disease.

The reason for this is that contrast dye is eliminated from the body through the kidneys. For those with kidney disease, the kidneys may not be able to filter the dye effectively, leading to a build-up of the substance in the body. This can cause a condition called contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN), which can damage the kidneys and even lead to kidney failure. While CIN is a rare occurrence, it is better to proceed with caution. 

In addition, it is important that you stay well-hydrated before and after the imaging test. Your nephrologist may require intravenous fluids before and after the test.

2) Non-steroidal Anti-Inflamitory Drugs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medicines which are used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and bring down a high temperature. NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen can have negative effects on the kidneys, especially for those who have had a kidney transplant. Excessive use of NSAIDS can also cause acute kidney injury. Acute kidney injury is a rapid fall in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) over hours to days.

3) Anti-Microbial Medications
Anti-microbial medications, including some anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral medications, can be hard on the kidneys because they are cleared from the body via the kidneys. When these medications are taken in high doses or for extended periods of time, they can cause damage to the kidneys and impair their function. These medications are nephrotoxic, and for people who have a kidney transplant or chronic kidney disease, it is essential to monitor renal function while taking them.

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