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Diabetes and kidney disease

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Kidney disease is linked with people suffering from diabetes. This because increased blood sugar levels affect normal functioning of the kidneys which leads to development of kidney disease. So what happens exactly? We explain you over here...

 

How diabetes causes kidney disease?

Kidneys are made up of nephrons that function to purify the blood. While waste products like uric acid are released through urine, other substances like protein and red blood cells are retained in the blood, i.e. our body.

The whole functioning of the kidneys and its filtration unit is gradually damaged with uncontrolled sugar in the blood. The damage is caused in the following ways: 

  • The kidneys have to work more as the nephrons become thick.
  • They filters become leaky and they pass more blood, thus proteins and other essential substances are lost through the urine.
  • The waste products of body start piling up in the blood.

Although the exact reason behind how diabetes can trigger kidney disease has not been confirmed, doctors assume it could result from high blood pressure.

 

What complications occur in the kidneys due to diabetes?

Due to the aforementioned malfunctions, a diabetes person could be suffering from the following complications: 

  • Microalbuminuria - presence of small amounts of albumin protein in the urine
  • Diabetic nephropathy- the nephrons thicken and gradually become scarred
  • Kidney failure- due to overworking

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What are the symptoms of kidney disease in diabetics?

An individual suffering from kidney complication will experience the following characteristic clinical symptoms. 

  • Swelling in legs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Weakness in body
  • Sleeplessness
  • Lack of concentration

 

Who are at risk of developing kidney disease with diabetes?

Not every diabetic patient gets kidney disease. The following group of people are at high risk... 

  • Those with poorly controlled blood sugar levels
  • Have high blood pressure or hypertension
  • Those who smoke
  • Have family history of kidney disease

 

What diagnostic tests are required for diabetics with kidney disease?

Your doctor can easily identify the symptoms of kidney disease during your routine checkups. You will have to undergo some tests like blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine tests. Your urine sample would also be analysed for presense of albumin.

Biopsy of kidney and imaging tests would be required based on your doctor’s evaluation.

 

Treatment for kidney disease in diabetics

Since, high blood pressure is the main culprit behind kidney disease, the first line of treatment would be to control it.

Your doctor would prescribe your blood pressure medicines like ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

Your diet will be holistically modified to control further rise in blood pressure and blood sugar at the same time. 

If the condition has deteriorated to a large extent, then your dialysis and kidney transplant might be the only treatment option.

 

How to prevent kidney disease on having diabetes?

Kidney disease can be prevented when you take care of yourself. We offer you the guidelines here... 

  • Go for regular health checkups. Educate yourself about the disease and take your medicines on time.
  • Control your blood pressure and blood sugar by having the diet suggested by your doctor.
  • Exercise every day. You can try therapeutic yoga or simply start working along with freehand exercises at home
  • Stop smoking. Cut down stress in every possible way.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: April 12, 2014