Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are at a significantly increased risk of peptic (stomach) ulcers, according to a study reported in Renal and Urology News on February 27th, 2014. Medical University researchers found that from 1998 to 2008, the incidence of stomach ulcers increased from 13.2 to 19.8 for every 1,000 people with CKD. This is significantly higher than the non-CKD ulcer-patient ratio at only 1.1 to 2.0 per 1,000 persons yearly.
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Ulcers have many negative side effects including but not limited to weight loss, hernia, hypotension (low blood pressure), poor nutrient absorption, and severe diarrhea. As compared to the general population, CKD patients not yet on Hemodialysis (HD) were 3.8 times more likely to acquire stomach ulcers while those on HD had an average 9.7 times higher risk of stomach ulcers. Researchers suggest, "that CKD itself is a strong independent risk factor for PUD [ulcers], and the incidence of PUD [ulcers] among elderly CKD patients is substantially increasing.”
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Still the study highlighted the fact that CKD patients receiving a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) (pain reliever) or clopidogrel (blood thinner) were at particularly high risk of ulcers when compared with CKD patients not taking such medications. Among subjects taking a NSAID or clopidogrel, non-HD CKD patients had a 4.6 or 3.1 times increased ulcer risk, respectively.
Surprisingly, if you had CKD and were taking aspirin, you would not be increasing your risk for ulcers, which is ironic since aspirin is a leading pain killer. So in order to reduce your risk, the best thing you can do is talk to your Nephrologists about using aspirin in replacement of other more dangerous pain relievers and safer blood thinners. If you are unable to take aspirin or substitute your medication for some reason, be sure to talk with your Nephrologists about other options you have to protect yourself from ulcers.
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Charnow, Jody A. "CKD Raises Peptic Ulcer Disease Risk." Http://www.renalandurologynews.com/. Renal & Urology News.
"Side Effects of Surgery for a Stomach Ulcer." Http://www.livestrong.com/. LIVESTRONG.COM.