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Diabetes & Kidney Disease

Diabetes & Kidney Disease

Diabetes is a serious health problem that affects millions of people in the world. People are always encouraged to eat healthy and do more physical activities to lower the risk or prevent diabetes. When diabetes is not well controlled, serious health problems will begin to follow. One example is the chronic kidney disease (CKD). Studies have shown that diabetes has become the major cause to kidney failure.

Diabetes damage to the Kidney

There are three common damages that diabetes can do to the kidney:

  • Nerves in the body — when the nerves in the body are damaged by diabetes, it is possible that the brain does not send a message to the bladder notifying it that it is full. When this happens, the pressure from a full bladder can harm the kidney.
  • Blood vessels in the kidneys - the high blood glucose level can cause the blood vessels in the kidney to become clogged. This problem would cause the kidney to have a lack of blood, and it can also lead to the flow of albumin (a protein) to enter the urine when it is not suppose to.
  • The urinary tract — when urine stays in the bladder for too long, it will develop a urinary tract infection that is caused by bacteria. Bacteria tend to grow rapidly in urine with high blood sugar level. This infection affects the bladder but sometime it can spread to the kidney.

Tips to prevent kidney disease

  • Control your blood sugar level
  • Keep blood pressure under control (below 130/80)
  • Test for kidney disease at least once a year
  • Take medication to control your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Follow a healthy diet for diabetes (less sodium food)
  • Perform suitable physical activities regularly
  • Avoid alcohol and quit smoking
  • Visit your physician for checkups as suggested

Tests to see how your kidneys are doing

Perform the tests listed below regularly to keep track of the progress, that way you will get a better understanding of what is affecting your kidney's functions.

  • Blood pressure test - in order to slow down your CKD, it is advised to keep your blood pressure level below 130/80, this can help prevent or delay kidney failure.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) - this number tells you the kidney's blood filtering function. The GFR number will only decrease, so it is important to prevent the number from dropping so that kidney failure can be prevented or delayed. (Normal GFR is between 120 and 60)
  • Urine albumin - albumin is the protein that can pass into the urine when the kidney is damaged. Treatment medication will help to lower the amount of albumin and keeping this protein away from the urine is good for your kidneys.
  • HBAl C - the HBAl C test is a laboratory test that shows your average blood glucose level in the past three months. The test helps diabetes to stay healthy and the normal HBAl C goal for people with diabetes is at 7%.