What is diabetic kidney disease? The problem occurring in the kidney due to diabetes is known as diabetic kidney disease. It is also known as diabetic nephropathy. What is a kidney? Kidney is the organ of body with task to excrete waste generated in the body. There are 2 kidneys in the body. Inside them are millions of tiny blood vessels that act as filters. Their job is to remove waste products from the blood. How Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Disease? As mentioned above the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in the kidney act as filter. As blood flows through the blood vessels, small molecules such as waste products squeeze through the holes. These waste products become part of the urine. Useful substances, such as protein and red blood cells, are too big to pass through the holes in the filter and stay in the blood. High levels of blood glucose seen in diabetic patients create troubles in the filtering capacity of kidney. To start with they make the kidneys to filter more blood. After many years kidneys give way to the heavy workload. They start to leak and useful protein is lost in the urine. Initially the amount of protein excreted is less but later on it increases. When kidney has started loosing protein several treatments may keep kidney disease from getting worse. But if kidney disease is diagnosed at the stage where larger amounts of protein is excreted in the urine the end-stage renal disease, or ESRD, usually develops. In time, the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to lose their filtering ability. Waste products then start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail. This failure, ESRD, is very serious. A person with ESRD needs to have a kidney transplant or to have the blood filtered by machine (dialysis). Who Gets Kidney Disease? Not everyone with diabetes develops kidney disease. Factors that can influence kidney disease development include genetics, blood glucose control, and blood pressure. The better a person keeps diabetes and blood pressure under control, the lower the chance of getting kidney disease. What are the Symptoms? Kidney disease produces no symptoms until almost all function is gone. Also, the symptoms of kidney disease are not specific. The first symptom of kidney disease is often water retention. Other symptoms of kidney disease include loss of sleep, poor appetite, upset stomach, weakness, and difficulty concentrating. How Can I Prevent It? Diabetic kidney disease can be prevented by keeping blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure in your target range. It is vital to see a doctor regularly. The doctor can check blood pressure, urine (for protein), blood (for waste products), and organs for other complications of diabetes. Four ways to lower your blood pressure are losing weight, eating less salt, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and getting regular exercise. Treatments for Kidney Disease Once kidney disease has established you have to consult Nephrologist. Depending upon the severity of disease treatment may vary. Generally treatment include water restriction, protein cut down, blood pressure reducing medicines, erythropoietin, bicarbonate, calcium supplementation. Ultimately patient requires dialysis and renal transplantation.
Disclaimer: The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. The information is provided solely for educational purpose and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice.