Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder characterized by high level of blood sugar and caused by lack or lower level of insulin hormone. As per WHO, there are 422 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide. It is one of the top 10 causes of death globally and also reported as one of the major causes of blindness, kidney failure, stroke, cardiovascular diseases and lower limb amputation.
Type of diabetes
There are mainly three types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type 1 (also called juvenile diabetes) is caused by an autoimmune reaction which destroys the beta cells of pancreas that produces insulin. This reaction led to absence or low level of insulin in body and causes diabetes and associated complications. Type 1 diabetes usually diagnosed in children and young age people but it can develop at any age too.
Type 2 diabetes is most common type of diabetes and caused when body does not make or use insulin well. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in middle age and older people but can developed at young age too. Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops in pregnant women and often resolve on its own after delivery. Women those have gestational diabetes during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later age.
Here is an infographic to help you understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Image source: Jchdonline.org.
Diabetic complications are another dreading aspect of this diseases. In long term (and when left untreated), high blood sugar level can affect other important parts and organs of body and lead to serious diabetic complications. Such as:
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Diabetic nephropathy (chronic renal disease or diabetic renal disease)
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Gum diseases
- Retinopathy (eye complications)
- Ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Foot complications (lower limb amputation)
- Skin disorders (increased frequency of skin infections, itching etc.)
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of stroke
Diabetic renal diseases also called chronic diabetic kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy is one of the serious complications of diabetes. About 1 in 3 diabetic adults suffer from diabetic kidney diseases. And in long term, diabetic kidney disease may cause kidney failure and other life-threatening complications.
How can diabetes cause chronic kidney diseases? What are signs and symptoms? What are some important tips that can help manage diabetes and avoid kidney disease? Read the post to know more!
How diabetes can cause renal disease?
Kidney is our body’s filtering organ that help in removing waste products from body and balance the body fluid. kidney also play an important role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
Kidneys are made up of thousands of tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) that helps in this filtering process and keep us healthy.
In case of chronic diabetes, the increased blood sugar level put a pressure on these blood vessels and damage it. Over the time, this damage results in poor functionality of kidney and causes diabetic renal disease.
Increased execration of protein (albumin) is earliest sign of diabetic renal disease. This increased excretion of protein may cause other associated symptoms like weight gain and swelling in body.
In long term and when left untreated, chronic kidney disease may lead to kidney failure.
People who have higher blood pressure (along with high blood sugar level) are more prone and have a higher risk of developing renal diseases.
Read this article to know more about the diabetic renal disease.
Here is an infographic that shows how diabetes affects kidney.
Image source: dtc.ucsf.edu.
Diabetic kidney disease or chronic kidney disease is more common is those diabetic people who have poorly controlled diabetes (high blood sugar level) for longer period of time. Additionally, those who suffer from high blood pressure (along with diabetes) also carry a higher risk of developing diabetic renal disease.
Here are some other important risk factors that increase the risk of diabetic renal disease.
- Being overweight
- Not following the diabetic treatment plan (diet, exercise and medication)
- Having cardiovascular disease (heart disease)
- High cholesterol level
- Family history of renal diseases and renal failure
Sign and symptoms of diabetic kidney disease
Image source: cdc.gov.
In early stage, diabetes renal disease often did not show any particular signs and symptoms. Symptoms usually start appeared in later stage of diabetes renal disease that include:
- Increased exertion of albumin (protein) in urine
- increased fluid retention that causes swelling and oedema in lower part of body and on face.
- Poor blood pressure control
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Increased frequency of urination
- Shortness of breath
- Confusion and drowsiness
Important tips that help people manage diabetes and avoid kidney disease
Image source: thediabetescouncil.com.
Here are some important tips for diabetic patients to manage their disease condition well and avoid kidney disease.
Maintain your blood sugar level in optimum range (diet, exercise, medication and regular check-ups)
Diabetes is a disease that require your constant attention and motivation towards maintaining a goal of keeping your blood sugar level in optimum range. Here are some important steps that can help a lot in maintaining your blood suage level in safe range.
- Your need to follow a diabetic friendly diet plan (eat healthy, nutritious meal at regular interval) and a regular exercise schedule (45 minutes of regular exercise, at least 5 days in a week) recommended by your doctor. This is the first and most important step that help in keeping your blood sugar level in check and avoid kidney diseases.
- Take your prescribed medication properly to avoid unnecessary complications.
- Visit your doctor clinic regularly and get all needed tests done to keep a check on your blood sugar level.
Keep your blood pressure in safe range
Just like blood sugar level, it is equally important to keep your blood pressure in safe range. Avoid eating high protein and high sodium diet that put extra pressure on kidney. Also, monitor your blood pressure regularly to keep a watch on your blood sugar level.
High blood pressure level is one of the major factors that increases your risk of getting kidney disease, so it is important to maintain your blood pressure level in safe range to avoid getting kidney diseases and related complications.
Regular tests for early detection of diabetic renal disease
As I said earlier, CKD or diabetic renal disease often shows no symptoms at an early stage. Geeting regular kidney related tests can be helpful in early detection of diabetic renal disease.
Here are some important tests for early detection of diabetic renal disease.
- Urine test to know the level of protein (albumin) and creatinine. Presence of protein in urine is one of the earliest signs that shows that your kidney is not functioning properly.
- Blood tests like eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration test) to know how well your kidneys are working.
- Regular monitoring of blood sugar and blood pressure level
Follow a healthy lifestyle
Following a healthy lifestyle is another essential factor that can help a lot in managing diabetes well and avoid getting diabetic renal disease.
- Eat healthy, nutritious meal at proper time interval
- Follow a regular exercise schedule
- Get enough sleep
- Keep your stress level in check
- Try to maintain an ideal weight
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Sometimes battling with chronic diseases like diabetes and diabetic kidney disease could be an exhausting and frustrating experience for many people. they may feel a sense of sadness and helpless in this journey. Getting support from support groups and social network is always a great idea to get needed help.
Wetogether.care is an amazing Indian support group and social network for chronic kidney disease patients. Patients can get important information, diet tips, expert opinions, and information about financial aid in India. This website is an incredible support and single source of truth for all things related to kidney diseases. This is a free platform that provides unbiased and authentic information around chronic kidney diseases.
If you want to gather any information about diabetic renal disease or looking for a support group chronic kidney disease patient, you should must visit this website.
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