Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body either fails to make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. It is usually classified as Type 1, and Type 2. To put it simply, diabetes causes high blood sugar level in the body which can cause harm to several
parts of your body.

We answer six of your most important questions to understand and examine the problem caused by diabetes in one such indispensible organ of the human body, which is kidney.

Q.1 Can diabetes cause kidney related diseases?
Yes, diabetes can cause kidney related diseases. Here’s how:

  • The main function of the kidney is to clean the blood. If you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can severely injure the blood vessels in the body, including those in your kidney. If they are damaged, waste and fluids build up in your blood instead of leaving your body.
  • Filtering too much blood (as a result of high blood sugar) strains the filtering ability of the kidney, causing useful protein to be lost in the urine. This state is called microalbuminuria, which can be followed by renal disease.
  • Diabetes can also injure the nerves in the human body, which can cause difficulty in emptying the bladder, which can eventually injure the kidneys
  • Diabetes can be the prime factor behind high blood pressure in the human body, which can compress the blood vessels in the kidney, leading to extra fluids, and higher blood pressure, thus creating a vicious cycle.

Over time, diabetes can damage your kidneys, and when diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, it is called Diabetic Kidney Disease, or Diabetic Nephropathy.

Q.2 What are the symptoms or signs of diabetic nephropathy?

  1. Presence of albumin/protein in the urine
  2. Increasing blood pressure
  3. Swelling and cramps in ankles and legs swelling
  4. Frequent visits to bathroom at night
  5. Increasing levels of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine in blood
  6. Less need for insulin or anti-diabetic medications
  7. Morning sickness and nausea/vomiting
  8. Poor appetite, weakness and anemia
  9. Easy bruising and itching

Q.3 How can diabetic kidney diseases be prevented?

  1. Consult your healthcare team to set yourself a blood glucose goal. Maintain your blood glucose level by regularly checking it on such intervals as prescribed.
  2. Maintain a healthy level of blood pressure.
  3. Indulge in healthy lifestyle practices, such as, balanced and healthy diet (which is low in sodium); routine physical exercise; sufficient sleep and resting; quitting smoking.
  4. Never miss your regular medical check-ups, consultation with your healthcare team and prescribed medical tests.

Q. 4 How can diabetic nephropathy be diagnosed?
Health care professionals prescribe tests to check for kidney related diseases: (a) a blood test that checks the filtering of the blood by your kidneys, i.e. glomerular filtration rate (GFR); or (b) a urine test that checks for albumin (a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged).

The tests are usually conducted when a diabetic patient develops the symptoms discussed above. Health care professionals also prescribe a regular testing every year for: (a) type 2 diabetes patients, and (b) type 1 diabetes patients for more than 5 years.

Clearly, the preparedness and attention on part of your healthcare team is vital, and we, at Healing Hospital, Chandigarh take pride in our expert team of nephrologists who prioritize patient-care over anything else. You can know more about our nephrology services at: https://healinghospital.co.in/dialysis-center-chandigarh

Q. 5 What is the treatment for diabetic nephropathy?

Pop the right pills: It is important to religiously consume the medicines prescribed by your physician for maintaining your high blood glucose levels, and high blood pressure. Research has suggested that high blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors not only help to control a
patient’s blood-pressure, but also delay the development of diabetic kidney disease by decreasing protein in the urine. It is essential to consult your healthcare team on your medication.

Watch what you eat: It is important to maintain a balanced diet to fight diabetic kidney disease. Follow a renal diabetic diet. The diet shall be such as helps to maintain your blood-sugar levels. A low-sodium diet aids in controlling high-blood pressure. Further, your dietary consultant and doctor may recommend you to follow a low-protein diet to reduce the level of stress on your kidneys.

Understanding the importance of a balanced diet, we, at Healing Hospital, Chandigarh, also offer the services of our exemplary dietary consultant as a part of our affordable health care package for all our diabetic and kidney patients.

Self-care is the key: A healthy lifestyle is the key to a healthy mind and body. It is important to check your blood-pressure levels by adopting a healthy living, which includes, exercising, regular sleep and rest, avoiding alcohol and smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, and
avoiding the stress of overwork.

Q.6 Can diabetic kidney disease cause kidney failure?
If the above precautions are followed accompanied with the right treatment, kidney failure can be avoided in a diabetic kidney disease patient. Unfortunately, in few cases kidney damage from diabetes can be followed by an end-stage kidney failure.

In such situations, the patient shall receive: (a) dialysis treatment (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis), or (b) kidney transplant, depending on the advice of your trusted healthcare professional.

It’s never too late, and you have nothing to worry about. As we, at Healing Hospital, thrive to be the best dialysis centre in Chandigarh, we take pride in our dedicated and specially trained dialysis care team, which promises you with increased well-being and better quality of living.

You can know more about our dialysis facilities & services at: https://healinghospital.co.in/dialysis-center-chandigarh/

Medical Disclaimer: Dear Reader, the contents of the article are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice for an individual, or as a substitute for the medical advice of the physician.

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