Diabetes is a condition where your body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin or is resistant to its effects. Insulin regulates the body’s ability to use sugar as energy and determines how much is stored. High blood sugar levels can cause problems in your body over time. A diabetes diagnosis is a significant factor affecting kidney health. Diabetes requires management to avoid long-term complications.
What Diabetes Does to the Kidneys
The kidneys provide the blood’s vital filtering, maintaining a delicate balance and removing waste from the body through the urine. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your body, including the kidneys. If the vessels sustain damage, the kidneys cannot filter the blood properly. As a result, your body will retain more fluids than normal and may end up with protein in your urine. Protein in the urine is one of the signs of kidney disease.
Diabetic Kidney Disease
About 30 percent of patients with Type 1 diabetes and around 10 to 40 percent of those with Type 2 diabetes will eventually suffer from kidney failure. The damage from diabetes can worsen over time. Despite this, you can take steps to keep your kidneys healthy. To add, you can help slow kidney damage to prevent or delay kidney failure. Kidney failure means that your kidneys have lost most of their ability to function (around just 15 percent of normal kidney function.) Thankfully, most people with diabetes and kidney disease don’t end up with kidney failure. You can manage your kidney health by doing the following for instance:
- Controlling your blood pressure
- Maintaining blood sugar levels, if you have diabetes
- Work with your doctor to monitor kidney health, if you’re at risk
- Take medicines as directed
- Stay physically active 30 minutes a day, five days a week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get enough sleep
- Stop smoking
- Utilize healthy ways to cope with stress and depression
March for Kidney Disease Awareness
March is National Kidney Month! There’s no better time to learn about your risks and how everyone can keep their kidneys healthy. Involve yourself in one of the many events taking place this month or become a clinical research volunteer to help improve patients’ future healthcare with kidney disease.
Clinical research volunteers help improve the way diseases like diabetes chronic kidney disease are detected, treated, and prevented. To learn more about how you can get involved in diabetes studies here at Diabetes & Glandular Disease Clinic, call (210) 864-8612, or visit our study webpage.