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
To 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
Protecting Your Kidneys If You Have Diabetes
To prevent kidney disease, you have to control your diabetes by keeping blood sugar in your
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