Diabetes mellitus (DM), referred to as diabetes, is a metabolic disorder in which impaired insulin secretion or peripheral insulin resistance causes high blood sugar levels. Over a long period, diabetes is left untreated or leads to several complications. Some of the most common complications from diabetes include damage to vital organs such as the eyes, heart, and kidney.
Diabetes affects nearly 425 million people across the world. The statistics regarding diabetic kidney diseases are alarming. Researchers believe that about 30 percent of patients with Type 1 diabetes and nearly 10-40 percent of patients with Type 2 diabetes suffer from kidney disease.
Kidneys are vital body organs. Apart from removing waste products from the body, they also perform essential functions like maintaining the electrolyte balance and regulating blood pressure. They also assist in blood production and activate. When the kidneys are is a build-up of toxic wastes in the body. If the damage progresses, the patient may need dialysis.
Diabetic kidney disease or nephropathy is the diabetes’ effect on kidneys. This happens over a long time (often years) with slight no symptoms at first.
Diabetes Mellitus causes damage to the small blood vessels of the body. Blood vessels in the kidneys get damaged, the kidneys do not effectively filter out wastes leading to toxic build-up in the body. While early kidney damage due to diabetes does not show any symptoms, as the damage progresses, the patients may lose their appetite, and there may be fluid retention in the feet and other parts. It could also lead to abnormal amounts of protein in the urine. If left untreated, diabetic nephropathy could lead to kidney failure. People who have diabetes are also prone to hypertension or high blood pressure, which aggravates kidney damage.
Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy
No known medicine can reverse diabetes’ effect on kidneys. However, this kind of kidney damage can be prevented or at least delayed if precautions are taken early on. Diabetic memory alludes to the fact that if the patient is diagnosed diabetic right at the start of the disease and is treated effectively, complications like nephropathy are significantly reduced. The best way of prevention of diabetic nephropathy is by being on regular medication and following a healthy diet plan and exercise regimen. These keep the blood sugar levels under control. It is also important to keep blood pressure under control and get tested for diabetic nephropathy regularly. Smoking is an additional risk factor, and diabetic patients must quit smoking to prevent diabetes’ effect on kidneys
It is important to note that prevention of diabetic nephropathy can be done if diagnosed early. However, if you are already affected by diabetic nephropathy, it is still possible to check the progression of the disease and prevent kidney failure.