Friday, October 16, 2009
Diabetes is a disastrous problem that affects kidneys, blood vessels, intestines and every other organ in the body. It is a condition in which the body is unable to produce or properly use insulin. Insulin, a hormone that is necessary for converting starches, sugar and other food into energy. The cause of diabetes is unknown and there is no known cure. It can early on also be controlled and managed through proper diet. And you should know, effective management may be achieved under a doctor's care.
It was estimated that there were 20.8 million children and adults who are afflicted with the disease. That is just about 7% of the population. Of that figure, 14.6 million people had been diagnosed, but 6.2 million people were thought to have diabetes but it had not been discovered yet. In addition, just about fifty four million folks are pre-diabetic with 1 1/2 million new disease found in people older than 20, showing up annually.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease. In fact, hypertension and diabetes are the two primary causes of kidney disease. This causes an estimated 70 percent of kidney failure with diabetes accounting of 44 percent of kidney failure cases. The early stages of kidney disease have no symptoms . It injures your body and by the time it is finally detected, the disease is so far advanced that it quite often is too far to prevent failure of the kidneys. Once your kidneys fail, you have two options: kidney transplant or dialysis. If you do not receive one of these, you will die.
How Diabetes causes Kidney Disease
When the kidneys are working properly, the glomeruli (tiny filters that are in the kidneys) keep all proteins inside of your body. Protein is essential for a variety of operations within your body and are required to keep you healthy. Diabetes creates too high of a concentration of glucose in the blood which damages the glomeruli. The result is that they can no longer keep the protein in the body and it seeps into the urine from the kidneys.
When kidneys are damaged they no longer function efficiently and do not cleanse our waste as they should. When this occurs, the waste and fluids build up in the blood instead of being expelled in the urine. The longer this happens, the worse the damage becomes until the kidneys eventually cease to function.
The Progression of Renal Disease
It can require years for diabetic kidney disease to develop. Some diabetics experience hyper filtration in the first few years of their having diabetes. This means that the glomeruli actually function at a much higher capacity than normal. Once damage starts, however, it continues. As a person develops kidney disease, they will have a blood protein named albumin that finally starts to leak into the urine in small amounts. At this time, the glomeruli are really functioning normally.
The progression of the disease leads to more protein leaking into the urine and the glomeruli begin to progressively fail as the filtering begins to drop. Waste is retained in the serum causing the filtration failure. As a result, the kidneys stop functioning.
How to Prevent Kidney Problems if you have Diabetes
Having diabetes, you can often prevent kidney problems. Use these steps to keep your kidneys healthy: * Control your diabetes by eating the right foods and a good exercise regimen * Take your medicine as prescribed * Have your physician test your blood and urine routinely for kidney problems * If testing shows that you do have kidney problems, ask your doctor about medications like ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) and ACE inhibitors that can help keep your kidneys healthy.
A diagnosis of diabetes does not have to result in kidney disease. As long as you stay on top of your condition, manage it well and follow your provider's orders, there is no reason that you can't live a long, healthy, happy life - without kidney disease.