Chances of a diabetic person developing a kidney disease are very high (more than 60%). If left untreated, this could lead to more kidney damage or kidney failure.
One can have serious kidney damage without being aware of it. There are usually no specific symptoms of kidney disease until the damage is severe. However, if you have diabetes, you should be tested once a year to see if diabetes has affected your kidneys. Your doctor can arrange a urine test for protein (a random urine test for “albumin to creatinine ratio”), and a blood test to check how well your kidneys are functioning (the “serum creatinine”).
Diabetes often causes damage to the small blood vessels of the body. This damage also impacts the retina of the eye and results in loss of vision and slowly this damage is extended to the delicate blood vessels in the filters of the kidneys. Diabetes may also damage the nerves in the body including the bladder; it may be difficult to pass urine with an infected bladder. The pressure from urine building up in the bladder can also cause kidney damage.
Kidney infection is another major cause of kidney failure. Diabetic patients show high levels of sugar in their urine causing the growth of bacteria. People with diabetes must take special care to avoid infections and have them treated immediately.
Early symptoms of kidney disease show high levels of protein in the urine. Eventually excess loss of protein from the blood causes the water from the blood to move into the body tissues causing swelling (edema). Itchiness, breathlessness and tiredness may also occur before the kidney failure occurs.
When the kidneys are about to fail, you might experience tiredness, nausea and vomiting. You could also retain salt and water, which could cause swelling of your feet and hands, and shortness of breath. You may also find that you need less insulin than usual. When the kidneys fail, wastes and fluids will accumulate in your body and you will need dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. You may be referred to a nephrologist (a kidney specialist) if your doctor thinks the damage to your kidneys is severe.
What can you do to prevent kidney damage?
There are special treatments (including proper food choices and medications) which may help to delay kidney failure. It is necessary to start these treatments as soon as your doctor notices any of the early signs or risk factors.
There are many things you can do to help prevent kidney damage:
- Have your urine, blood and blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor
- Maintain good control of your blood sugar
- Control high blood pressure (less than 130/80* on most readings)
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Make the proper food choices
- Avoid excess alcohol
- See your doctor if you think you have a bladder infection
- Get enough sleep
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Article Source: EzineArticles.com: Diabetes Impacts Kidneys