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Does Diabetes Hurt Your Kidneys

For People With Type 1 Diabetes

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Kidneys?

Microalbuminuria or proteinuria is rarely present at the time when the diabetes is first diagnosed. By five years after the diagnosis of diabetes, about 1 in 7 people will have developed microalbuminuria.

After 30 years, about 4 in 10 people will have developed microalbuminuria. Some people with microalbuminuria progress to proteinuria and kidney failure.

Brain And Nervous System

When you have diabetes, your cells must work harder to use glucose. That may tire your muscles and leave you feeling spent.

Studies tie diabetes to proteins in your brain that are linked to dementia. Because of narrowed, hardened arteries, your chances of stroke are also higher. Your brain needs sugar to do its job. Repeated bouts of low blood sugar can damage the brain.

Nerve damage happens to almost everyone with diabetes. Some parts of your body may go numb or have other problems. All organs, including your heart, rely on healthy nerves. Pain in your feet and legs is a common sign that something isnt right.

You may not notice small cuts or sores at first. Those small injuries can grow into big wounds.

Since diabetes affects your blood flow and immune system, a small sore may not get what it needs to heal. In severe cases, doctors may need to amputate a foot or other affected areas.

You Can Help Maintain The Health Of Your Kidneys By Simply:

Drinking plenty of water

Staying hydrated, particularly during hot weather or when exercising , is key to ensuring your kidneys function properly.

Eating healthily

Eating a healthy, balanced diet i.e. one that has a balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates will ensure your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Limit salt/sugar consumption and try and stay clear of foods that are high in saturated fat

Limit alcohol intake and avoid smoking

Drinking a lot of alcohol and smoking puts extra pressure on your kidneys as they have to work harder to remove toxins from your blood.

This is one of the many reasons why its recommended that you avoid smoking and limit your alcohol consumption to two small drinks a day .

Keep an eye on blood pressure

Rising blood pressure , which is often linked to being overweight/ obesity , can increase your risk of kidney disease. There is often no clear cause of high blood pressure , which is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly ideally about once a year. This can be done free of charge at your GP surgery.

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Kidney Disease In People With Diabetes

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing kidney disease, especially if they have consistently high blood sugar and high blood pressure levels. This is because high blood sugar and high blood pressure levels can cause the nephrons in the kidneys to become damaged. Nephrons are filtering units in the kidneys that contain many blood vessels when they are impaired, they cannot filter blood and waste products properly. This in turn leads to diabetic kidney disease.

Because it is common in people with diabetes, the Diabetes Canada guidelines recommend that adults with type 2 diabetes should first be tested for kidney disease when they are diagnosed, and adults with type 1 diabetes should be tested 5 years after their diagnosis. After that, people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes should be tested every year.

Tests For Kidney Disease

Diabetes And Renal Failure: Everything You Need To Know

The two tests for kidney disease are included in your annual review. You should normally have these tests every year but they might be happening differently at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic. we’ve got more advice about what care you can expect during this time.

As part of your 15 Healthcare Essentials, you should have both of the tests for kidney disease every year.

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Why Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Failure

The kidneys perform an important function in cleaning the blood that flows through your body to all the cells in your organs and extremities. Since diabetes injures the small blood vessels in the kidneys, your kidneys are unable to do their job adequately. People with diabetes can end up retaining more water and salt than is healthy, which can result in weight gain and swelling.

Additionally, diabetics often experience nerve damage, which can cause difficulty emptying their bladder. When this occurs, the pressure from a full bladder can hurt the kidneys. You can also develop a bacterial infection, which occurs in urine with a high sugar level. These results can damage the kidneys and impair their functioning.

One of the key indicators pointing to diabetic kidney disease is the presence of albumin in the urine. If you have diabetes or if diabetes runs in your family, its important to have your doctor test your urine for albumin on an annual basis. Even if you have no other symptoms of kidney disease, albumin excreted in the urine can exist long before the evidence points to kidney disease. According to the MSDH, 10 to 40 percent of those with Type 2 diabetes eventually will suffer from kidney failure. Fortunately, not everyone with diabetes develops kidney diseasea lot depends on genetics, blood glucose control, and blood pressure.

How Do I Know If I Have Kidney Damage

Most people with early kidney damage do not have symptoms. The best way to find early kidney damage is to have a urine test once a year. This test checks for very small amounts of protein in the urine called albuminuria. It helps show kidney damage at an early stage in people with diabetes. Not everyone with kidney disease gets kidney failure. With the right treatment, you can prevent kidney disease from getting worse.

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How Is Diabetic Nephropathy Treated

Lowering blood pressure and maintaining blood sugar control are absolutely necessary to slow the progression of diabetic nephropathy. There are medications available which have been found to slow down the progression of kidney damage. They include:

  • SGLT2 inhibitors including dapagliflozin , which helps control high blood sugar.Ã
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors can help slow down the progression of kidney damage. Although ACE inhibitors — including ramipril , quinapril , and lisinopril — are usually used to treat high blood pressure and other medical problems, they are often given to people with diabetes to prevent complications, even if their blood pressure is normal.
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers can often be given insteadà if you have side effects from taking ACE inhibitors

If not treated, the kidneys will continue to fail and larger amounts of proteins can be detected in the urine. Advanced kidney failure requires treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Recognizing The Symptoms Of Ckd


CKD doesnt typically cause any symptoms until kidney function has declined substantially, which is why its important to detect the condition well before any symptoms develop.

Part of the reason we have so much difficulty in diagnosing chronic kidney disease early is that people dont usually get symptoms until their kidneys are at maybe 20 or 30 percent function, says Leisman. Before that, The patient feels perfectly fine and might not go to the doctor.

Initial symptoms of CKD after kidney function has declined substantially, but before kidney failure occurs can also be mild or nonspecific. Thats another reason you shouldnt wait until you experience symptoms to get screened for CKD, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other risk factors. As kidney function worsens, your symptoms may worsen or you may develop additional symptoms.

Talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms of CKD. If CKD is suspected, your doctor will ask about your medical history and conduct a physical exam. They may also perform tests, such as a blood test to measure the level of waste products in your blood or a urine test to check for protein, to help make a diagnosis.

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Can You Have Diabetes And Kidney Disease At The Same Time

One meal plan for diabetes, another for chronic kidney disease . Find out how you can eat well for both. If you have diabetes and CKD, youre definitely not aloneabout 1 in 3 American adults with diabetes also has CKD. The right diet helps your body function at its best, but figuring out what to eat can be a major challenge.

Diet And Other Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor or dietitian will help you plan a special diet that is easy on your kidneys. These diets are more restrictive than a standard diet for people with diabetes. Your doctor may recommend:

  • limiting protein intake
  • consuming healthy fats, but limiting consumption of oils and saturated fatty acids
  • reducing sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,000 mg/dL or less
  • limiting potassium consumption, which could include reducing or restricting your intake of high potassium foods like bananas, avocados, and spinach
  • limiting consumption of foods high in phosphorus, such as yogurt, milk, and processed meats

Your doctor can help you develop a customized diet plan. You can also work with a dietitian to help you better understand how to best balance the foods you eat.

Your doctor may also recommend an exercise plan for you to help keep your blood pressure low and your kidneys healthy.

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What Will Happen If My Kidneys Have Been Damaged

First, the doctor needs to find out if your diabetes has caused the injury. Other diseases can cause kidney damage. Your kidneys will work better and last longer if you:

  • Control your diabetes
  • Get treatment for urinary tract infections
  • Correct any problems in your urinary system
  • Avoid any medicines that may damage the kidneys

If no other problems are found, your doctor will try to keep your kidneys working as long as possible. The use of high blood pressure medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors has been shown to help slow the loss of kidney function.

How Diabetes Can Damage Kidneys

When Does Diabetes Affect Your Kidneys And How Do You ...

Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD: Approximately 1 in 3 people who have diabetes also have kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . People with diabetes often have elevated levels of sugar in the blood, which can cause damage to many tissues in the body over time, including in the kidneys.

The working units of the kidneys, called nephrons, contain networks of tiny blood vessels that filter waste products from the blood.

When sugar is high in the blood, the sugars can bind to different proteins in the nephrons and change the structure of those proteins, says Staci Leisman, MD, a nephrologist and associate professor of medicine and medical education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. This can make the nephrons less effective at filtering and lead to protein in your urine a key sign of CKD.

Lowering blood sugar levels, which is the number one goal of diabetes management and treatment, can help prevent or slow kidney damage.

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The Effects Of Kidney Disease

Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, which means they cannot filter your blood properly.

As a result, tiny particles of protein spill into the urine this is called microalbuminuria. As kidney disease progresses, larger amounts of protein spill into the urine this condition is called proteinuria.

As kidney disease progresses, waste products start to build up in your blood because your body can’t get rid of them. If left untreated, your kidneys will eventually fail and dialysis or a kidney transplant will be required.

Diabetes can also affect the nerves that tell you when your bladder is full. The pressure from a full bladder can damage the kidneys. If urine remains in the bladder for a long time, it can increase your risk of developing a urinary tract infection, which can spread to the bladder.

How Diabetes Affects Your Kidneys

With diabetes being the leading cause of kidney disease, one may ask, how does diabetes affect your kidneys?

It is estimated that about a quarter of the people that have diabetes experience kidney disease. High blood sugar caused by diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. The damage done to the blood vessels can lead to diabetic kidney disease. Over time, high blood sugar can cause the blood vessels to become narrowed and potentially blocked. Therefore, there is a lack of blood flow to the kidneys, leading to damage.

Another way diabetes affects your kidneys is through nerve damage. Nerves are essential for transmitting messages between the brain to other parts of the body, including the bladder. Your bladder will signal to the brain when the bladder is full. However, if nerves are damaged, then the signal will not reach your brain, and you may not feel that your bladder is full. When your bladder is continuously full, it can place pressure on your kidneys. The pressure placed on the kidneys can cause damage to them.

In addition to the pressure on the kidneys, a urinary tract infection is more likely to occur if ones bladder is full for too long. Bacteria will grow quickly in urine, especially if the urine has a high sugar level. The bacteria has the potential to affect the kidneys if it spreads.

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Diabetes And Kidney Disease: Can It Be Reversed

September 30, 2020 by Diabetes Care

Kidney disease is a common complication of diabetes, and diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease in Canada. It is estimated that 50% of people with diabetes will have signs of kidney damage in their lifetime. Read on to learn if it is possible to reverse diabetic kidney disease.

What Can Be Done To Manage The Kidney Damage Caused By Diabetes

How can Diabetes affect your Kidneys? | National Kidney Foundation
  • Monitor the blood sugar levels: Keeping the blood sugar levels in a healthy range can help in protecting the kidneys from further damage. One must keep checking their blood sugar levels regularly using a blood glucose meter or get an HbA1c test done, which gives an average level of blood sugar over the past 3 months.
  • Adopt healthy eating habits: To keep blood sugar levels under control, a diabetic must indulge in healthy eating habits which include adding lots of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein in the diet and reducing the consumption of sugary and highly refined foods such as cookies, crackers, and soda. Diabetics must consume smaller meals at a time, spread through the day. Consume less salt, as the high sodium content of the salt would cause fluid to buildup in the body.
  • Quit using tobacco and limit alcohol: Quit smoking or chewing tobacco as they can worsen the kidney damage. Reduce the consumption of alcohol significantly to an occasional indulgence, to avoid any damage to the kidneys.
  • Exercise regularly: Being active helps the body to use insulin better, thus keeping blood sugar levels under control. Practising moderate-intensity exercises for at least 30 minutes every day can help a diabetic person attain a healthy weight. Those who do not wish to go to the gym can work out in their houses by taking stairs instead of elevators, going for an after-dinner walk or just walk briskly.
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    What Are The Early Signs Of Kidney Disease In Patients With Diabetes

    The earliest sign of diabetic kidney disease is an increased excretion of albumin in the urine. This is present long before the usual tests done in your doctor’s office show evidence of kidney disease, so it is important for you to have this test on a yearly basis. Weight gain and ankle swelling may occur. You will use the bathroom more at night. Your blood pressure may get too high. As a person with diabetes, you should have your blood, urine and blood pressure checked at least once a year. This will lead to better control of your disease and early treatment of high blood pressure and kidney disease. Maintaining control of your diabetes can lower your risk of developing severe kidney disease.

    What Does Diabetes Do To The Kidneys

    With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood.

    Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes

    Diabetes is a chronic health condition that doesnt come up with visible signs or symptoms at the initial stages. Also, the symptoms are very mild that can easily go unnoticed between your daily routine works. Here weve listed some symptoms which may include the following-

    • Having dry skin
    • feeling numbness or tingling in hands or feet
    • Having blurry vision
    • Having frequent urges to pass urine


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