I get asked this question a lot :
Will taking my diabetes or blood pressure medicine damage my kidneys?
Can I stop taking blood pressure medication ?
Can I stop taking diabetes medication?
My patients frequently bring up this question as their friends will give them many ‘medical’ advice upon discovering that they are taking diabetic or blood pressure medicine. There is an unproven rumor or myth going around that this life-saving medication is causing damage to kidneys.
Truth or False ?
First things first. You need to understand that the doctor prescribed these medications for you for a reason.
Was your blood pressure high ? Then you need blood pressure or hypertension medicine
Was your blood sugar high ? Then you need diabetes medicine.
What Does Our Kidney Do Every Day
Photo source : Kidney Research UK
Think of our kidney as a smart water filter. Our kidney filters our blood and remove wastes and extra water from your body. Excess water or unwanted stuff gets flushed out as urine from the bladder and good stuff like vitamins and minerals get reabsorbed back into our body.
No matter how good or expensive a water filter, if we don’t take care of it or put too much crap into it, it will break down eventually. This same logic goes to our kidney.
Main Culprit Behind Kidney Damage
Photo Source : The Diabetes Council
According to the National Kidney Foundation, almost 70% of kidney damage occur due to uncontrolled diabetes or uncontrolled high blood pressure or both . Too high blood pressure and too high blood sugar puts too much stress on your kidneys, and damages your kidney day by day. The end result is kidney failure which needs dialysis .
Dialysis is no joke. You need to be hooked up to machines to clean your blood every three days. These machines do the function of what your kidney used to do, which is filters out unwanted stuff from our body. One dialysis session lasts a few hours and after one session your body will be so tired. When you are on dialysis, it will be hard to travel or do anything away from your dialysis center.
So Can I Stop My Diabetic Medicine Or High Blood Pressure Medicine Because My Friend Told Me To?
Well, it’s all up to you.
Diabetic medicine and high blood pressure medicine lowers your blood sugar and blood pressure, which then reduces the stress on your kidney. In another sense, these medicines protect your kidney from further damage. They do not destroy your kidney as all those unhealthy rumors goes. In fact, if you stop taking your medicine, this will cause your blood sugar and your blood pressure to go up and will lead to your kidney to get damaged faster.
If I were you, I would get advice from my doctor about all these rumors and myths and work out the best plan to control your diabetes and high blood pressure.
I would strongly suggest testing your blood sugar and blood pressure regularly, at least once every week if both are on the high side.
Have an open discussion with your doctor or your pharmacist about your fears of medicine or whatever myths that you heard, instead of stopping the medicine just like that.
What is your thoughts on this ? Please share with me and fill in the comment box below.