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Can diabetes put your kidneys at risk?

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 2 months ago

Diabetic kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD), is a serious condition that affects approximately one in three adults with diabetes. CKD gradually impairs the kidneys' ability to filter waste and excess water from the blood, potentially leading to kidney failure. It is important to detect and manage diabetes early to prevent kidney damage.

The progression of diabetes-induced kidney damage is slow, often taking years before symptoms manifest. Many individuals remain unaware of their type 2 diabetes diagnosis for an extended period, making it possible to discover kidney disease shortly after being diagnosed with diabetes. Recognizing the symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination, increased thirst, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing of wounds, weight loss, and tingling in the hands or feet, is crucial for early detection and timely treatment.

As CKD symptoms typically emerge in the advanced stages of the disease, individuals should undergo kidney tests if they experience symptoms like increased urination, nocturia (waking up at night to urinate), urinary tract infections, weight gain, swollen ankles, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness or fatigue, itching, or muscle cramps.

To diagnose CKD, doctors conduct urine and blood tests. These tests measure the presence of albumin, a protein that indicates the early stages of diabetic kidney disease, as well as creatinine levels to assess kidney function. Additionally, blood pressure checks are essential, as high blood pressure can exacerbate kidney damage.

While there is no cure for diabetic kidney disease, managing diabetes through tight control of blood sugar and blood pressure can help prevent or slow its progression. Regular A1c tests, which measure average blood sugar levels over the past three months, can guide treatment adjustments, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Doctors may also prescribe medications like ACE inhibitors and ARBs to control blood pressure and slow kidney damage.

Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, adopting a low-sodium diet rich in fruits and vegetables, engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing cholesterol levels, and prioritizing sufficient sleep, can contribute to better diabetes and kidney health.

Early detection, comprehensive monitoring, and adherence to treatment plans are crucial in preventing or managing diabetic kidney disease. Regular kidney tests and close collaboration with primary doctors, endocrinologists, or nephrologists are essential for individuals with type 2 diabetes or those who have had type 1 diabetes for more than five years.

By proactively managing diabetes, individuals can mitigate the risk of developing kidney disease or slow its progression, safeguarding their overall health and well-being.

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