Effects of Herbal Supplements on the Kidney

Wendell Combest; Marian Newton; Austin Combest; June Hannay Kosier

Disclosures

Urol Nurs. 2005;25(5):381-386. 

In This Article

Nursing Care

The nurse may be one of the first members of the health care team to be approached by the patient using or contemplating the use of an herbal product for renal failure symptoms. The nurse should establish dialogue with patients regarding use of herbal supplements which affect the kidney. The nurse should be armed with information and legitimate Internet sources regarding the effect of dietary supplements on the kidney. As nurses, we want to be proactive during the routine history and physical and include questions such as "Tell me about any herbal supplements you may be using because we want to provide the safest care possible for you and need to know all medications and supplements you take. Some prescribed medications may interact with the supplements and some may affect kidney function." The nurse should also have evidence-based herbal dietary supplement references to share with patients such as the Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines published by Amazon Books and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database available online and in print (Barrett, 2000). Table 3 lists interventions to facilitate safe care for renal patients using herbal dietary supplements.

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