Having multiple myeloma can be difficult and can be even scarier when considering how the disease effects your kidneys. Multiple myeloma is a cancer that increases the amount of blood cells that then produce proteins which cause harm to your body. Generally, about half of all those with multiple myeloma rapidly will develop kidney issues and for some kidney failure may occur. Even though your kidneys can be damaged for those with this type of cancer, it is important to remember that most are able to see some improvement in their kidney function.
There are 4 major reasons for kidney issues in those with multiple myeloma.
Not drinking enough fluids or being on medications such as diuretics that cause fluid to be lost can cause harm to the kidneys. Dehydration reduces the ability of kidneys to function. The job of kidneys is to filter the blood of waste products. However, with dehydration the kidney has difficulty filtering not only the blood of waste but also the additional proteins that multiple myeloma produces. This can lead to kidney damage. Fluids are given by drinking and through an IV to help improve the kidney function.
Medications like ibuprofen (a type of NSAID) can cause issues with the way the kidneys get sufficient blood flow. Keep in mind that even those without cancer can experience kidney issues from medications. Why? It has to do with the kidneys not getting enough blood flow or directly causing destruction of this organ leading to kidney dysfunction. Again, fluids can be given to help improve the kidney damage.