Kidney
Problems
  

Diabetes and Kidney Problems

Diabetes and Kidney Problems Are Often Related


It's no coincidence that diabetes and kidney problems are related. People who have diabetes also, often, have kidney problems.

kidney diabetesTo understand why this relationship between diabetes and kidney problems exists, you have to know a little bit about the anatomy of the kidneys--and how diabetes damages them.

Put simply, the kidneys filter the blood through millions of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Molecules of waste products are small enough to squeeze through these capillaries, and eventually, they're removed from the system as urine. However, substances that the body needs, like proteins and red blood cells, are too large to pass through the capillaries, so they stay within the system.

Diabetes causes kidney problems by interfering with this filtering process by the kidneys. Unusually high levels of sugar cause the kidneys to work harder and eventually these filters become more porous. Waste products and toxins are no longer flushed from the system. Damage to the kidneys - possibly leading to chronic kidney disease and even kidney failure - may result. Furthermore, when you have diabetes, the body doesn't use glucose, or sugar, effectively. The glucose stays in your blood and begins to act like a toxin. 

Dangers of Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes can cause so much damage to your kidneys that they eventually fail. If this happens, you may need kidney dialysis or even a kidney transplant. In either case, there's a significant impact on your health and your quality of life.

The process of dialysis employs an artificial kidney--a machine--to clean your blood.

Kidney transplantation, of course, means using a kidney from a kidney donor to replace the kidney or kidneys that no longer work. Transplantation is major surgery requiring a lot of recovery time and lifestyle changes. 

Protecting Your Kidneys If You Have Diabetes

To prevent kidney disease, you have to control your diabetes by keeping blood sugar in your target range.

It's also important to keep your blood pressure down. The higher your blood pressure, the faster kidney disease progresses. When you have diabetes, even a slight increase in blood pressure can have a dramatic and deleterious effect on your kidneys.

As any doctor will tell you, the best ways to keep blood pressure in a healthy range is to

  • get some aerobic exercise at least three times a week (elevating your heart rate for at least 20-30 minutes each time),
  • eat a healthy, low fat, low cholesterol diet, with a minimum of salt, and
  • avoid tobacco completely and keep alcohol consumption down to one drink a day.

 

 

 

Learn more about the dangers of kidney disease by clicking on the book cover below or

The Kidney Disease Solution

the kidney disease solution