Like many other organs of the human body, even the peculiarly bean shaped kidneys are likely to be impacted by diabetes. Sadly, diabetic kidney is another addition to the long list of complications associated with diabetes type 1 and 2. The progression of kidney disease (caused by diabetes) towards kidney failure is quite possible, especially in uncontrolled diabetes.
Let us try to unwind as much information as possible in regards to this type of long term complication linked with diabetes.
Kidney Disease Associated With Diabetes
Role Of Kidney
The key responsibility of kidneys is continuously and diligently filtering the circulating blood, followed by extraction of the waste products, such as urea and uric acid from the blood flowing through it. This is possible because of a filter (glomeruli) which is constituted by countless, delicate blood vessels. Other than that, these two structures help regulate the amount and balance of fluid and salts present within the body. This, in turn, has a significant impact on controlling blood pressure.
Effect Of Diabetes On Kidneys
Diabetes is one of the foremost causes of kidney problems. In this type of complication, the filtering mechanism of Glomeruli becomes impaired. As a result of this damage, the excretory organs begin to carry out their role in a different than normal manner. Raised levels of blood glucose results in elevation of certain chemicals, in the kidneys, which give way to leakage of the filter. Also, the two kidneys begin to sift more than the normal amount of blood.
The glomeruli, in turn, are overworked and after a certain span of time start leaking an important type of protein, albumin in the urine (instead of retaining it in the blood circulation). Presence of small quantities of albumin in urine is known as Microalbuminuria (albumin leakage varies between 30-300 mg in a day). If this kind of minor kidney disorder is detected and diagnosed early, there are many forms of treatments that may help prevent the condition from advancing any further. However, as diabetes progresses, the working efficiency of the kidneys starts dwindling, too. The condition of microalbuminuria may later take up the form of proteinuria, also termed as Macroalbuminuria or overt nephropathy.
If detected during this phase, end stage renal disease (ESRD) is almost inevitably the next (or final) stage. As the kidneys deteriorate, more toxic products begin to pileup in the blood causing the excretory organs to ultimately give up. A diabetic patient with kidney failure is left with few choices, one being kidney transplant or having to repeatedly undergo renal dialysis (which filters the blood similar to the kidney).
Symptoms Of Diabetic Nephropathy
The affected individual is more likely, to not experience any specific symptom, in initial stages of diabetic kidney disease. Thus, initiation of microalbuminuria is not necessarily linked to initiation of symptoms. As this disease worsens non-specific symptoms; for example, lack of energy or physical exhaustion come to notice.
In cases of severe diabetic nephropathy, muscular cramps, decreased ability of thinking clearly, decline in appetite, dryness of skin and development of swelling in the lower extremities are commonly seen. Some of the other clinical features include paleness of skin, puffy eyes and increase in the frequency of micturition. The imbalance between the blood level of calcium or phosphate along with other compounds results in symptoms of anemia.
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Incidence Of Diabetic Kidney Disease
It has been observed that roughly thirty three percent of people who live with diabetes for many years (15 or more) may end up with diabetic nephropathy. Having said so, it does not imply that each individual with diabetes will suffer from kidney disease.
At the time type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, the associated complication of microalbuminuria is mostly absent. Some of the crucial components that may influence the initiation and/or progression of kidney disease include blood pressure, body weight and control over blood glucose. In short, there exists an inversely proportional relationship between diabetes and kidney disease.
Ways Of Preventing Diabetic Kidney Disease
Diabetic nephropathy is easy to prevent by maintaining the blood sugar level within the acceptable range. If this is achieved, the potential chances of suffering from microalbuminuria are cut down by thirty three percent. As for those diagnosed with microalbuminuria, the grave risk of advancement into macroalbuminuria is reduced by fifty percent.
Therefore, one must follow four guidelines religiously. These cover control of body weight by engaging in calorie burning physical activities, abstinence from tobacco or alcohol consumption and lowered intake of salt. Also, those dealing with macroalbuminuria must follow a low protein diet as this retards loss of the same via urine and instead favours restoration of normal level of protein in the blood.
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