Dull, cramping and shooting pain are some of the most common experiences kidney disease patients have. Depending on the severity of their condition, the pain can be mild or extremely debilitating.
Patients may find it hard to sleep or even perform their activities of daily living. Although it’s tempting to solve the symptom and its inconveniences by popping a pain reliever every time there’s discomfort, it’s best if you can steer away from using them without your doctor’s approval.
Since your kidneys are not functioning optimally, here are some of the things you should know about managing your pain.
1. Skip NSAIDS and aspirins
NSAIDS or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are the most common type of pain relievers. You can buy them over the counter even without prescriptions. Although effective in alleviating pain, NSAIDS are not the best ones to use for kidney patients since they can aggravate any existing damage to the organs.
Aspirins, on the other hand, can increase your risk of bleeding. Aside from this side effect, prolonged or even short term use of the medicine can also result in temporary or permanent decline in your kidney function.
In case your doctor gives you the permission to take these pain relievers, make sure to increase your fluid intake, unless contraindicated. It’s also helpful if you can take them no more than 10 days
2. Check your kidney function regularly
To make sure your pain relievers aren’t causing any further harm, you should make it a point to get your serum creatinine and estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate routinely assessed. Any increase in your creatinine result or decrease in your GFR can signal further deterioration of your organs.
Aside from these blood tests, you can also submit your urine for testing. Persistent presence of protein in your urine is a good indication of your declining kidney function.
3. Take pain medications as prescribed
Pain relievers, when taken excessively or for a prolonged period of time can cause a lot of adverse reactions. If taking one is a must, make sure that the type of pain reliever you are going to use is prescribed by your doctor. It can also help limit the negative effects if you stick with the lowest dose possible.
Taking your pain medications as prescribed can help alleviate your discomforts. In case you still feel pain after your doctor’s recommended duration of taking them, do not decide on your own. Check back with your doctor and be open with all the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. Giving your doctors as much information as possible can help him decide the best next course of action for your condition.