Kidneys are an essential organ of the human body, and one cannot imagine living without them. Diabetics are more prone to kidney problems. Diabetic nephropathy and diabetic retinopathy are two kidney diseases. Long term high blood glucose damages the blood vessels and the nephrons.
As we all know that kidneys are highly vascular – contain many blood vessels that served as an assistant to the nephrons (the main filtering units of the kidneys). The waste products carried to them through bloodstreams filter out by nephrons. After dumping the waste into nephrons, the cleaned blood re-circulates in the body. The waste product is carried to tubules and eventually outside the body in the form of urine. Hence, if the blood vessels or nephrons sustain any damage, the waste products begin to accumulate in the bloodstream instead of discharging and results in severe damage to your kidneys and body.
It is possible to avoid diabetic nephropathy but hard to control once the process has started. If not diagnosed early, it will cause you end-stage renal (kidney function) disease. In that case, you need dialysis and, in some extreme cases, a kidney transplant. Getting a kidney in the present scenario is not an easy task. There is a lot of competition for a kidney, and the one who gets it should consider them lucky.
Symptoms of diabetic nephropathy appear so slowly that one can hardly notice them. The severe symptoms may include a metallic taste in the mouth, loss of appetite, fatigue, difficulty in managing blood glucose, swelling of the hands, face, and ankles, and skin irritation. The appearance of any of these symptoms is a caution signal for you, and you need to contact your doctor right away.
Having a kidney disease for a diabetic is regarded as an awful condition. The treatment of end-stage renal disease involves a grisly process. You have to experience painful sessions of dialysis around three to five times a week.
It is always better to check a disease rather than having its treatment. The same goes for diabetic kidney diseases. Follow the precautionary measures given below to evade kidney disease:
- As a patient with diabetes, your first priority is to maintain your blood glucose level under control.
- Keep checking your blood pressure regularly. It should be normal. Higher blood pressure pushes the kidneys.
- If you have a problem of bloody or cloudy urine, burning or pain during urination; the feeling of always wanting to urinate; or frequent urination, you may have a urinary tract infection. No matter major or minor, you need to have proper treatment.
- If you are a diabetic, it is not a bad idea to go for a urinalysis once every year. Your test will center on the presence of protein in the urine, creatinine, and Microalbuminuria. They all indicate potential kidney dysfunction.