Malaria is a life-threatening febrile illness caused by the bite of a type of female mosquito. Malaria can present as a severely complicated disease or without complications. In simple uncomplicated malaria, the affected person suffers from fever with chills or chills. If diagnosed and treated early with antimalarial drugs, the disease resolves. But treating malaria at home should be done with caution.
types of malaria
Simple and uncomplicated malaria can be caused by all varieties of malaria. Common species of parasites or types of malaria are:
* Plasmodium vivax
The falciparum variety can cause severe and complicated malarial illness. The affected person may suffer from cerebral malaria in which the patient may experience high fever, headaches, drowsiness, convulsions (fits) and may also fall into a coma. Falciparum malaria can also cause generalized disease of the body and cause multi-organ dysfunction in which the patient may require to be in the ICU and on a ventilator, as malaria can also cause severe lung, liver and kidney failure.
Side effects of malaria and how it can affect the kidneys
There are several ways that malaria can acutely affect the kidneys. Acute kidney injury or acute kidney failure can occur due to severe dehydration from fever, loose motion, or vomiting. In severe complicated malaria, kidney damage can occur because the malaria parasites directly attack the filters in the kidneys.
In cases where malaria has caused multi-organ failure, the kidneys may be affected due to low blood pressure and toxins in the body. Occasionally, the patient may require temporary dialysis if they have suffered severe kidney injury.
Also read: 7 lifestyle tricks to maintain healthy kidneys
The best way to prevent kidney damage is to diagnose and treat malaria early. Home treatments such as pain relievers for fever and body aches can cause direct damage to the kidneys. Inadequate hydration can also predispose the kidneys to fail in the setting of malaria. Sometimes the fever can start as a low-grade fever and if the patient does not get tested and start treatment on time, malaria can start to damage all the organs and by the time the diagnosis is made the kidneys are already damaged.
If alternative therapies other than antimalarials are tried for home treatment, the risk of harm from the alternative therapy is increased in addition to worsening malaria that can cause severe kidney injury.
Tips to keep your kidneys safe if you have malaria
1. Do not take any medicine that has not been prescribed by a doctor who has seen you in detail before prescribing the medicine.
2. In case of fever, hydrate well and get tested to determine the cause of the fever, as treating the cause can prevent complications.
3. If malaria has been diagnosed, start treatment immediately under the supervision of your doctor.
Also read: Did you fight dengue or malaria? Follow these 5 dietary tips for a speedy recovery
4. Sometimes the doctor may suggest admission to hospital if your symptoms suggest severe or complicated malaria that may require intravenous medications, fluids, and supportive care in the hospital and prevent it from becoming life-threatening. Do not delay, start the required treatment on time.
5. Avoid alternative therapies and strong painkillers in case of fever or malaria as it can rapidly damage the kidneys.