One of the least understood (and poorly explained), serious complications you may experience is Kidney Disease In Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It’s such an important issue that this will be a 2 part series on the topic.
…So You’ll know, and reconsider the steps you can take to prevent it:
Along with high blood pressure, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most common causes of Kidney Disease, known as “Chronic Renal Failure.”
This is a slow and progressive decline in kidney function.
How It Works
1. The main job of the kidneys is to filter wastes and extra water out of your blood to make urine. Removing the waste products from the body keeps toxins from building up in the bloodstream.
Inside the kidneys are literally millions of very small blood vessels that act as filters to remove the waste products from the bloodstream.
➡ During the process of digestion, the waste products are filtered through the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys.
➡ As the blood works its way through the blood vessels, very small molecules (like waste products) are able to squeeze through the holes in the vessels. The nutrients your body needs are too large to pass through the holes, so they enter your bloodstream and do their jobs.
➡ The resulting waste products then become part of the urine that will eventually leave your body.
When your kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood like they should, which can cause wastes to build up in your body.
You are more likely to develop kidney disease if:
- You have diabetes and you smoke
- Don’t follow your diabetes eating plan
- Eat foods high in salt
- Are not physically active
- Are overweight
- Have heart disease
- Have a family history of kidney failure
What you can do to protect yourself from kidney disease in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
- Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits
A consciously healthy lifestyle can help you reach your blood glucose and blood pressure goals. Following the steps below will also help you keep your kidneys healthy:
- Stop smoking.
- Work with a Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator to develop a diabetes meal plan that limits salt and sodium.
- Make physical activity part of your routine.
- Stay at or get to a healthy weight.
- Get enough sleep. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Wrapping It Up
Early kidney disease, sometimes called Renal Insufficiency, may have no signs or symptoms You may not feel any different until the disease is advanced, but the damage is still being done.
Blood tests to check kidney filtration rate and urine tests to check for Albumin, which is a simple form of water-soluble protein, such as that found in egg white, milk (and particularly in blood serum) are the only ways to find out if you have kidney disease at this stage.
➡ If you’re a diabetic, it’s important to speak to your doctor about being tested for kidney disease so it can be detected early and treated, to slow progression of the damage.
If kidney disease in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed early, especially during the first phase, there are treatments to prevent the disease from progressing any further.
If it continues undiagnosed to the point that larger amounts of protein are being lost in the urine, however, it will normally be followed by End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
This is serious.
- Over time, the overworked kidneys will give in to the stress of the extra workload, and their filtering ability will decline.
- A build-up of waste products in the blood will eventually cause the kidneys to fail completely.
Unfortunately, at this time either a kidney transplant or ongoing dialysis are required to help filter the blood. There are no other options.
It’s important to understand that not everyone diagnosed with Diabetes will end up developing kidney disease, and that part of it is up to you.
There are many other elements which may contribute to kidney disease in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, including genetics, blood pressure and how well blood sugar is controlled.
By consistently maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and keeping your blood pressure within the limits set by your physician, kidney disease and diabetes do not have to interfere with your life.
Here’s the Link to Part 2 of this series, if you’d like to learn about the progression, symptoms, and treatment of Acute and Chronic kidney disease.