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Common heartburn Drugs may lead to gradual yet “silent” Kidney Damage: Study

A recent evaluation has shown that a group of drugs which are widely prescribed for heartburn, ulcers may lead to gradual yet "silent" kidney damage

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New York, Feb 22, 2017: A group of drugs commonly prescribed for heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux may lead to gradual yet “silent” kidney damage, warns a study.

The study evaluated the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, among others, in 125,000 patients.

More than half of patients who develop chronic kidney damage while taking the drugs do not experience acute kidney problems beforehand, meaning patients may not be aware of a decline in kidney function, the findings, published in the journal Kidney International, showed.

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The onset of acute kidney problems is not a reliable warning sign for clinicians to detect a decline in kidney function among patients taking proton pump inhibitors, said the study’s senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

“Our results indicate kidney problems can develop silently and gradually over time, eroding kidney function and leading to long-term kidney damage or even renal failure. Patients should be cautioned to tell their doctors if they’re taking PPIs and only use the drugs when necessary,” Al-Aly said.

The researchers analysed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases on 125,596 new users of PPIs and 18,436 new users of other heartburn drugs referred to as H2 blockers.

The latter are much less likely to cause kidney problems but often are not as effective.

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Over five years of follow up, the researchers found that more than 80 per cent of PPI users did not develop acute kidney problems, which often are reversible and are characterised by too little urine leaving the body, fatigue and swelling in the legs and ankles.

However, more than half of the cases of chronic kidney damage and end-stage renal disease associated with PPI use occurred in people without acute kidney problems.

End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys can no longer effectively remove waste from the body.

In such cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to keep patients alive.

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“Doctors must pay careful attention to kidney function in their patients who use PPIs, even when there are no signs of problems,” Al-Aly cautioned.(IANS)

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Gestational Diabetes May Increase the Risk of Kidney Damage

Gestational diabetes -- high blood sugar condition during pregnancy -- may cause early-stage kidney damage that can later lead to chronic kidney diseases among women, reported a study.

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Type 1 Diabetes
The risk of diabetes is also connected to dental health via glucose tolerance.

Gestational diabetes — high blood sugar condition during pregnancy — may cause early-stage kidney damage that can later lead to chronic kidney diseases among women, reported a study.

The study showed that women with gestational diabetes were more likely to have a high glomerular filtration rate (GFR) — an estimate of how much blood per minute passes through the glomeruli, the tiny filters within kidneys that extract waste from the blood.

Women with gestational diabetes had more than triple the risk of an elevated GFR, which may precede the early kidney damage that accompanies pre-diabetes — a condition with higher blood sugar levels but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

“Our findings suggest that women who have had gestational diabetes may benefit from periodic checkups to detect early-stage kidney damage and receive subsequent treatment,” said Cuilin Zhang from National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Maryland, US.

 

check-up for diabetes
Check-up for Diabetes. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, included data from 601 Danish women having gestational diabetes and 613 non-diabetic women.

The results showed that women who had gestational diabetes and later developed diabetes were approximately nine times more likely to have an elevated GFR later in life, compared to women who did not have gestational diabetes.

Also Read: Eating Chocolate May Guard Against Diabetes

They were also likely to have an elevated urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (UACR), which is an indicator of kidney disease.

The study could not prove that gestational diabetes causes kidney damage, and the authors noted that more research is needed to confirm their findings. (IANS)