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Diabetes - Can It Affect Your Kidneys?

Dr. Suzi Jacklin 91% (279 ratings)
MBBS, CCEBDM
Diabetologist, Bangalore  •  9 years experience
Diabetes - Can It Affect Your Kidneys?

Each tiny action we commit involves the risk of a condition, disease or disorder. For instance, sneezing a bit too hard can rupture an eye vessel, or having your face right up against the wind in a moving bus can expose you to germs. Diabetes is as prevalent as common cold in every household and there is no end to the list of causes that can make you suffer from it. While regular check-ups, medications, insulin shots can help you cope, there are certain measures that if followed, can enable you to avoid the risk of secondary yet fatal diseases. Diabetic nephropathy is one such condition.

When Kidney is affected to the extent that it cannot perform its functions(like excretion of wastes in urine, filtering blood from waste, maintaining electrolyte balance,etc.) properly, it is called as Nephropathy. The reason behind kidney damage could be many, but if diabetes is the prime cause, it is known as diabetic nephropathy in medical terms.

A few features of this disorder are as follows:

  1. The kidneys comprise of several small blood vessels, which perform the function of sifting waste from your blood. Diabetes at an advanced stage can impede smooth functioning of these vessels. As a result, the kidneys malfunction or a person faces kidney failure.
  2. Nephropathy brings along some other health issues as well. A person's blood pressure may increase as a result, thus making him or her prone to heart attacks and strokes. Sharp rise in cholesterol and triglyceride levels has also been noticed.
  3. A doctor will check for the presence of a protein called albumin in the patient's urine to know if you suffer from nephropathy or not. Other tests to determine the functioning of kidneys are - S.Creatinine, eGFR, Albumin/Creatinine Ratio (ACR), 24 Hour Urine Protein, Renal Function Tests, etc. A diabetic person should therefore go in for yearly tests.

In a given situation such as this, dialysis or kidney transplant comes to your aid. Both are done when kidney functions are irreversibly damaged. Dialysis can be of two kinds; Hemodialysis or Peritoneal dialysis. Dialysis (also called as Renal Replacement Therapy) remedies kidney damage and kidney failure by using a machine to extract salts, wastes and other fluids in excess from the blood to let your blood have a healthy composition. Dialysis should only be done under the supervision of an experienced nephrologist for best results. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.

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