Developing kidney disease is one of the worst complications related to diabetes, and one of the top reasons for fatalities in people who suffer from diabetes.
The pathogenesis is related to the microangiopathy, which is a condition where the small blood vessels are damaged. This has a great impact on the kidney.
The main role of the kidney is to filter and purify the blood in the organism. Moreover, it has really important role in removing the excess water in our body. If these functions fail, then the symptoms are predictable.
The kidney disease in diabetics has other problems, too. One of the most important things about the kidney is the possibility of secretion of the hormone called erythropoietin.
This hormone is responsible for increase the amount of the red blood cells in our body. The impaired kidney no longer produces this hormone and therefore, there is decrease of the amount of the red blood cells.
The symptoms and problems could be summarized:
a. Swelling- under the eyes, especially in the morning
These are the main symptoms and problems, however, there exist some others, which contribute further to worsening the patient’s condition.
The treatment is something extremely hard. If one of the kidneys is not damaged, this is good and the prognosis is going to be better for the patient. However, if both of the kidneys are impaired, the prognosis is not that good.
Keeping good diet is one of the main points in the therapy of kidney impaired by diabetes. You have to keep your glucose level in certain boundaries. If you do this, you will be able to slow down the progress of your kidney’s destruction.
Using vasodilators as medicaments to better you kidney blood flow is a good as a starting therapy. There are many drugs that have this kind of effect, including ACE inhibitors, Sartans and some kinds of drugs made by herbs.
Unfortunately, in most of the cases, diabetic kidney disease leads to development of chronic renal failure, where the kidney is no longer able to do its work.
In this case, dialysis is the only one thing that can help.
However, this is just a temporary solution and because of that renal
(kidney) transplant is the thing that is going to save you.
You have to know that the blood glucose concentration depends on the amount of glucose acquired with the food and the amount of glucose used during the day.
So, there are two possible factors to cause high blood glucose level:
1. higher intake of glucose and
2. low glucose usage.
Kidney is made up to excrete the excessive glucose when its blood concentration is higher than normal. Therefore, the role that kidney plays is shown only if blood glucose is higher than normal.
Other thing, which you have to know, is that having one kidney is not messing up the blood glucose result at all. Because of this, the kidney is not responsible for false positive or false negative results.
However, it is important for you to know that, if you have only one kidney, the risk for chronic renal failure, caused by inadequate control of the blood glucose concentration, is higher.
So, my advice for you is to do everything possible in purpose to keep your blood glucose level with in the normal ranges, which are 64.8-104.4mg/dl or 3.5-6.1mmol/l, depending on the unit of measurement.
To put it differently, you have to follow low carb diet, doing exercises, taking your medications regularly and to check your blood glucose level every day.
Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist