Can Male Enhancement Pills Cause Kidney Problems

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs in the renal system. They help the body pass waste as urine. They also help filter blood before sending it back to the heart. The kidneys perform many crucial functions, including, maintaining overall fluid balance, regulating and filtering minerals from blood, filtering waste materials from food, medications, and toxic substances, creating hormones that help produce red blood cells, promote bone health and regulate blood pressure. Inside our kidneys there are tube like structure called nephrons which take in blood, metabolize nutrients, and help pass out waste products from filtered blood. Kidneys are important as they purify the blood of any toxicity and impurities.

Globally, kidney disease is the third biggest killer after cancer and cardiac ailments. More than 200,000 kidney failures occur in India annually. Apart from diabetes and hypertension causing kidney problems, sexual enhancement pills also cause kidneys to dysfunction. The self-claimed all natural health supplements which are supposedly a mixture of rare Asian ingredients contain a lot of unregulated pharmaceutical drugs in its composition. Such supplements take a toll on your kidney. Even more alarmingly, over-the-counter medicines, common prescriptions, and nutritional supplements can have serious effects on kidney function. 

Sexual and kidney ailments go hand in hand. Either the reason for decreased sexual urge might be an effect of an underlying kidney ailment or few of the substances present in the pills can cause kidney problems.

Many of the Dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Their manufacturers don’t have to prove that they are safe to use, and ingredients can vary from one brand to the next. There have cases reported of people undergoing or experiencing acute renal failure after taking a sexual enhancement pill like Viagra but no hard evidence is there to concur the same.  Few of the possible reasons why sexual enhancement pills can cause acute or chronic kidney ailments are as listed below. 

  1. Male enhancement pills majorly work by having substances which suddenly increase the blood flow in the body subsequently increasing one’s blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to work properly. When the force of blood flow is high, blood vessels stretch so blood flows more easily. Eventually, this stretching scars and weakens blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidneys. If the kidneys’ blood vessels are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle.

  1. One of the main ingredients in these pills, is sulfoaildenafil an untested chemical which can have dangerous interactions with other prescribed drugs such as nitrates, and can cause dangerously low blood pressure.  Low blood pressure causes inadequate blood flow to the kidndeys and is the leading causes of kidney failure. 
For most patients, the recommended dosing regimen is 50 mg taken 1 h before sexual activity with maximum dosing frequency once per day. In general, sildenafil citrate is well tolerated with the adverse reactions like headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, abnormal colour vision, etc. all less than 20% , and doses up to 800 mg/day in healthy volunteers show no other side effect. Yet when mixed with nitrates, it can causes fatally low blood pressure which can lead to kidney ailments or worse, heart failure.

  1. Tribulus Terrestris:
Tribulus Terrestris owes its health and medicinal effects to three groups of active phytochemicals: Dioscin, protodioscin, and diosgenin; these substances stimulate sexual performance and may be useful for a variety of sexual disorders. They help to regulate sexual energy levels and sexual strength by increasing the percentage of free available testosterone levels for men. But what many people don’t know is that dioscin causes apoptosis which means  the death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development. Dioscin can cause the nephrons in kidneys to die and hence cause kidney related ailments. Additionally these pills alter the hormonal level in the body. This causes a change in the bacterial environment of the urinary tract system can increase risk of infection. Since the urinary tract is a part of the renal system, the infection may spread to the kidneys and can cause kidney infection or inflammation of kidneys. 

The following tips can help prevent the risk of kidney damage.

  • Keep regular control of your blood sugar level : About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to have regular tests to check their kidney functions.

  • Monitor your blood pressure : Although many people may be aware that high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know that it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80. Between this level and 139/89, you are considered pre-hypertensive and should adopt lifestyle and dietary changes. At 140/90 and above, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and monitor your blood pressure level regularly. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and Cardio- Vascular Diseases.

  • Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early. It is important to keep control of blood sugar levels with the help of doctors or pharmacists, who are always happy to help.

  • Maintain a healthy fluid intake : Although clinical studies have not reached an agreement on the ideal quantity of water and other fluids we should consume daily to maintain good health, traditional wisdom has long suggested drinking 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day.Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease,

  • While taking OTC drugs, pay careful attention to labels and take the medication exactly as directed. 

  • Do not take Viagra or any other sexual enhancement pills more than once in any 24 hours. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking Viagra, as it may increase the level of sildenafil in your blood and so increase the risk of its side effects.

  • When possible, avoid taking medicines like NSAIDs over long periods of time. Any long-term use of any medications, even OTC and herbs, should be under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • Make sure you are not taking medications more often or at a stronger potency than needed, as this is a common cause of toxicity.

  • Drink adequate fluids to flush out the toxins. Dehydration is a known risk factor for kidney failure, as it can cause the medication to become too concentrated and to stay in the system too long.

  • Avoid taking NSAIDs during pregnancy, though Tylenol (acetaminophen) is ok. Kidney infections are more common during pregnancy and may result in lower birth weight or premature birth.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol, while taking these medications, as it can lead to dehydration, increased blood pressure, and liver disease, placing you at greater risk of kidney dysfunction.

  • Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve emotional and physical health. Some activities that may help reduce stress include

  • exercising
  • practicing yoga or tai chi
  • listening to music
  • focusing on something calm or peaceful
  • meditating

Though there are no proven causes of severe kidney ailments because of the consumption of male enhancement pills, it is better to be safe than sorry. Before going on medication, both over the counters or by prescription from a doctor, it is better to take other measures like a healthy diet change, reducing stress and drinking plenty of water. If the problem still persists then one can take these health supplements or more commonly known as sexual enhancement pill but that too under the care and guidance of a doctor.