Diabetes And Your Kidneys - Are You Keeping An Eye On Both?
Diabetes can affect the kidneys and lead to a condition called diabetic nephropathy. It is a common complication of diabetes that can lead to treatments such as dialysis if timely help is not sought.
The human kidneys are our waste portal. They filter out the blood, ridding it of impurities which are then passed out in the urine. In order for them to function well, they need to work at full capacity at all times, without being affected by any disease.
Diabetes has a detrimental effect on the health of the kidneys. It affects its filtering capacity, leading to the accumulation of toxins in the blood stream. This can be harmful to a patient’s health.
One such product that is filtered out by the kidneys when ti is affected by diabetes is protein. In fact, one of the first signs that diabetes is affecting the kidneys is the presence of small amount of protein in the urine. This is usually a microscopic amount and is called microalbuminuria.
As this protein loss increases, the individual begins to become weak. Furthermore, this excess filtering of protein through the kidney can put a lot of stress on it, leading to kidney failure over a period of time.
In other words, if the right steps are not taken in the early stages, kidney disease that sets in later could cause terrible complications and affect the quality of life of the patient.
In addition to diabetes affecting the kidneys, high blood pressure can have an added effect. High blood pressure, or hypertension, often occurs concurrently with diabetes. The two together put a great deal of stress on the kidney, and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
If you suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes simultaneously, you will have to take extra precautions to protect your kidneys. If left untreated, you place your kidneys at risk of failing, and increase the need for early dialysis.
Treating Diabetic Nephropathy
The first step is to adopt the right lifestyle measures as advised to control both blood sugar and blood pressure. Reducing the intake of sugars, sweets, juices and salt are all advised. Regular exercise in the form of aerobic activity is recommended as per the guidelines laid down by the American Heart Association.
Medication for managing both diabetes and your kidneys are now available and must be taken as prescribed. However, sometimes despite your very best efforts, it is possible to take insufficient medications that need to be tweaked according to the clinical response seen.
Finally, if all treatments fail to protect the kidneys, then dialysis may be needed.
Diabetes related kidney disease can be prevented through lifestyle modifications and medications. Make sure the advice given to you by your doctor is followed to the “T”!
Source by Dr Vivek Baliga