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Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Help the kidney survive the onslaught of Diabetes

Kidneys play an existential role in our lives – They perform very important functions but Filtration of the blood and removal of toxins is the most vital of them. Kidneys also produce hormones and are

  • Involved in the immune system ,
  • formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells,
  • Regulation of electrolyte levels in the blood and tissues of the body
  • Regulation of Blood Pressure
  • Regulation of the Acid Base balance of the Body

But uncontrolled Diabetes can damage the Kidneys and play havoc with our body.

Kidneys are like tea strainers- but very intelligent ones, they filter all that is not required and unwanted in our body, but if any useful substance is lost in that process- it is reabsorbed midway.

High blood glucose levels are toxic to the kidneys and the glomeruli- the filtration apparatus of the kidneys. With continued exposure to glucose initially the wholes of the glomerulus widen thus allowing big molecules like proteins to pass out through urine- this is the stage of Albuminuria but ultimately if not controlled the glomeruli are replaced by fibrous strands and stop function all together- causing Kidney failure and leading to loss of function of this vital organ.

Damage to kidneys is usually also accompanied by damage to the blood vessels of Retina – the light sensitive part of our eyes- causing retinopathy and ultimately leading to blindness.

Persons suffering from Diabetic Kidney disease –also called Diabetic Nephropathy or Chronic Kidney Disease are also more likely to suffer from Heart Attack, Stroke and Paralysis, Diabetic Foot ulcers and Amputation.

Symptoms

At initial stages there may not be any symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy but as the disease advances there may be some symptoms like:

  • Profound weakness
  • Generalized swelling of the body
  • Headache, Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Darkening of complexion
  • Severe itching all over the body

There are some myths prevalent that patients with Kidney disease should eat less proteins- But to the contrary Chronic Kidney disease patients should have a protein rich diet to make up for the muscle loss. They are also anemic as kidney plays important role in Hemoglobin production, iron is not absorbed from the intestines properly adding to their troubles.

Precautions

These patients should avoid fruits and juices which may be rich in potassium, as it accumulates in CKD and may be harmful for the heart.

Paradoxically Blood Sugar levels may decrease in Diabetics with nephropathy, at times all anti diabetic drugs may have to be discontinued.

Also be under regular care and monitoring of your Diabetologist in Delhi if you ever develop any of the complications, he would guide you about the future course of treatment.

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