Diabetes

Kidneys

How does Diabetes cause kidney disease?

The kidneys are important organs. They have tiny blood vessels inside them acting as filters to remove waste products from the blood, and retain the large essential protein molecules. They regulate the amount of fluids and salts in the body, which helps to control blood pressure.

In Diabetes, high blood sugar levels can damage the minute blood vessels of the kidneys. This causes them to work inefficiently, leading to what is known as the diabetic kidney disease.  It is one of the possible long-term complications of Diabetes; affecting about one third of patients with Diabetes.  Early detection is extremely important, because kidney disease takes many years to develop, which can be damaging. Diabetic kidney disease rarely develops during the first 10 years. In fact, it could take more than 20 years to develop.

The detection of microalbuminurea (leakage of small amounts of protein into the urine) is a sign of the beginning of the kidney disease.  However, early diagnosis can delay or stop the progression of kidney disease. Increased amount of protein in the urine indicates a decline in the kidneys’ filtration capacity and the waste products start to accumulate in the blood.

Diabetic kidney disease may progress, ultimately, leading to kidney failure (End Stage Kidney Disease), which requires kidney transplant or dialysis (a mechanical blood filtration).     

How can I prevent or slow kidney disease?

Remember to consider the following: