Kidney Disease in Diabetics – A Common Affliction
While diabetes on its own can be a great burden for many individuals, it can often times be complicated by other medical conditions caused by diabetes. Kidney disease in diabetics is a common cause of health complications for individuals with diabetes. In fact, out of all cases of kidney failure, the single most common cause is diabetes. Diabetes can lead to chronic kidney disease, and if not treated properly, can result in many problems that in some cases can be fatal. Even those diabetics who manage their illness as best as possible can incur kidney disease. This means that if you are a person with diabetes who does suffer from chronic kidney disease, you are not necessarily to blame. You can do everything by the books, everything your doctor suggested, and you can still develop chronic kidney disease. If someone does suffer from kidney failure, they will typically have to have the medical process known as dialysis done. Dialysis is a way of essentially cleaning the blood. In some other cases, more severe cases, people will need to receive a kidney transplant. These transplants are from donors.
Kidney disease in diabetics is more common in certain demographics than others, for reasons scientists aren’t entirely sure of yet. For example, African American and Hispanic individuals are typically at a higher risk of developing diabetes, and subsequently chronic kidney disease than Caucasian individuals. While everyone needs to be extremely careful with their body and be aware of any potential health problems, these people who are at a greater risk need to be even more careful. Taking into account someone’s family history of diabetes and chronic kidney disease is another important thing to consider.
Kidney disease in diabetics is quite common, so there are guidelines for making sure that diabetics have healthy kidneys. Many national health programs have similar recommendations, but the American Diabetes Association, also known as the ADA, recommends that individuals with diabetes have a kidney function test known as the estimated glomerular filtration rate test is performed at least once a year. This is the minimum for all individuals who suffer from diabetes, and people who have a family history of chronic kidney disease of kidney disease in diabetics should have this test performed more frequently if possible. In addition to the glomerular filtration rate, another thing that should be observed by a healthcare professional or a specialist doctor is the urine albumin level. These two levels are extremely important in detecting chronic kidney disease in diabetics. If chronic kidney disease in diabetics is detected early enough, it can be treated much better than if it was detected later on.
Proper management of one’s diabetes is an extremely important part of having diabetes, and if your family has a history of chronic kidney disease then it is even more important. It is not to be taken lightly as it is your overall health and wellbeing that you are dealing with.
The reason that diabetics are more susceptible to chronic kidney disease is due to the fact that high levels of glucose in the blood can damage parts of the kidneys. Particularly, high blood glucose levels damage blood vessels that are found in the kidneys. As you might already know, the kidneys are meant to filter the blood, so if they are damaged, they won’t filter as well as they should. While it might start off fairly mild, kidney disease in diabetics can gradually progress and lead to full-blown kidney failure. This is often called renal failure. If the chronic kidney disease gets to this point it will be necessary for the individual to undergo dialysis, or failing that, they will need a kidney transplant from a healthy donor. Kidney transplants can take a long time to receive, and even if you do receive one, it can fail. That is why it is a good idea to take good care of your kidneys long before it gets to that point.
To take good care of your kidneys, it is essential to monitor your diabetes very closely. Ensure that your blood glucose levels are at the level suggested by your doctor. Your blood pressure is also a very important thing to consider, and your doctor will be able to tell you the proper blood pressure for you.
As you can tell, kidney disease in diabetics is a serious health concern that affects many diabetics around the world. Take care of your body before it’s too late!
Diabetes & Other Leading Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease
There are so many common misconceptions about diabetes and the straight line toward chronic kidney disease that it seems as though schools should really start introducing classes about health care and what we can do to prevent diseases such as these. There are many people who think that you can live very well with diabetes and that there is nothing to worry about or that it does not change a person’s life all that much, if taking the right drugs and avoiding the wrong food. This is all caused by a severe misunderstanding of the diabetic nephropathy symptoms, and of what is going on inside the body when they occur.
People usually think that most cases of chronic kidney disease are caused by people not drinking enough water, and that the kidneys’ sole function is that of eliminating the surplus of liquids in the body. To the surprise of experts in diabetic nephropathy pathophysiology, the cleansing function of the kidneys to the body eludes them completely, making the whole idea of medical education in school seem even better. People with diabetes starting to have kidney problems will slowly yet surely evolve toward kidney failure. They will start cleaning their blood with dialysis and they will lose complete kidney function in time.
Apart from diabetes, there are other factors which can also lead to chronic kidney disease:
High blood pressure – the blood vessels in the entire body are damaged, including the ones in the kidney;
Cysts on the kidneys – they cause the enlarging of the organ, interfere with the normal kidney functions and can also damage the nearing organs;
Infections and other afflictions of the kidneys – infections can start low on the urinary tract and work their way up in time and with repeated episodes. The higher they get, the closer they are to the kidneys and once they get there they can scar the kidneys and affect their function;
The obstruction of the kidney artery – the obstruction of the free flow of urine causes the kidney to retain water like a sponge;
Lead poisoning – causes the dysfunction of renal tubes which can lead to nephrosis and to other types of chronic kidney disease;
Consumption of drugs such as Aspirin or Paracetamol – they are harmful to many organs.
Although kidney disease in diabetics is so common, the kidneys can also be affected by a number of other factors, as it is a rather sensitive organ with a vital function. If we only think of the fact that, in order to replace the kidney function, man has invented and built a whole device to clean the blood and to reestablish the necessary levels of substances in the organism, it makes us think of how amazing these little organs are, and it should make us more aware of their importance. Our general health means more than just keeping away from major diseases, it also means avoiding those little things which, in time, can lead to major problems such as chronic kidney disease.
The Best Diabetic Ketoacidosis Treatment
For individuals with diabetes, life can be a bit more complicated than for other people at some times. There are a wide variety of particular health problems that can occur as a result of diabetes, and diabetic ketoacidosis, sometimes abbreviated as DKA, is one of them. Most of the individuals who suffer from the dangerous diabetic ketoacidosis are individuals who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but this is not always the case. It is fairly rare, but some individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will also receive diabetic ketoacidosis. In this article we will discuss the diabetic ketoacidosis treatment and management, as well as explain what it is to give you a better understanding if you have been diagnosed with it, or even if you just want to be on top of your health.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is caused by an insufficient supply of insulin for the body. To compensate for this reduced amount of insulin, the human body will begin producing acidic ketones, as a result of burning an excess number of fatty acids. If you have had diabetes for a while, the chance of developing diabetic ketoacidosis is less than some individuals. Diabetic ketoacidosis is often found in individuals who have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes; in fact, diabetic ketoacidosis is often the first sign that an individual might be suffering from diabetes. With that being said, some other factors can arise and cause diabetic ketoacidosis in individuals who had already been diagnosed with diabetes.
To confirm the presence of diabetic ketoacidosis in individuals, blood tests (and sometimes urine tests) are performed, often after a number of symptoms have been displayed. Commonly found symptoms are coma, vomiting, and in some situations, intense confusion. If left untreated, or not treated in a timely manner, diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal. Fortunately, thanks to modern medicine, diabetic ketoacidosis treatment almost always results in a successful recovery.
The common diabetic ketoacidosis treatment takes a few steps to fully ensure that the individual is safe. Diabetic ketoacidosis treatment begins with assessing how much fluid the individual has lost. In many cases the individual suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis has lost an immense amount of fluid, and subsequently, electrolytes. In some instances of diabetic ketoacidosis, the dehydration can get so intense that it causes the individual suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis to go into shock. This is a result of very low blood pressure, not allowing enough blood to flow to all of the person’s organs. The diabetic ketoacidosis treatment for this is often saline solution being infused to the patient at a very rapid rate. If the dehydration is not as severe, the saline solution will be introduced to the body at a slower rate. In almost all cases of dehydration as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, saline solution is the preferred method of rehydration.
Aside from rehydration in the diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, insulin is administered to the individual. If the diabetic individual’s potassium level is not too low, insulin will be administered. If the person is too dehydrated and their potassium levels are too low, a large amount of insulin usually leads to very dangerously low levels of potassium. This means that in diabetic ketoacidosis treatment the first priority is rehydration, followed by the administration of insulin once the hydration has been taken care of.
While proper rehydration and the administration of insulin are standard for diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, some doctors and healthcare professionals believe that it is also beneficial to administer sodium bicarbonate. The reasoning for this is that they claim it improves the levels of acid in the person’s blood quite rapidly. While some studies suggest that sodium bicarbonate does improve the acidity of the person’s blood, there might be negative effects. Some people believe that the acidity inside the person’s cells can be worsened by the administration of sodium bicarbonate, so it often isn’t included in most diabetic ketoacidosis treatment plans.
With the aforementioned steps of diabetic ketoacidosis treatment, the outcome is typically quite good if treated in a prompt fashion. Unfortunately, if left unattended for too long, diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal in many individuals. That is why it is good to know the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis, so if you or a loved one are experiencing any symptoms you will be able to identify them immediately and get yourself or this person to a healthcare professional for proper diabetic ketoacidosis treatment.
A Tough Reality – How to Manage Kidney Disease in Diabetics
All nephrologists know that there is nothing surer than kidney disease in diabetics. The 46% causes of all kidney failures registered in medical records are related to diabetes, a horrible and slow disease which people have not been taught enough to stay away from. There are also many common misconceptions regarding diabetes, such as the fact that you get it by eating too many sweets, that people with diabetes are not allowed to eat sweets, that it is not a very serious disease and other such myths which have, in time, been put aside by those who agreed to find out a little bit more about it.
The harsh reality of diabetes is the fact that we do not really know for sure what causes it yet. We know that it may be brought upon by high levels of stress, very high cholesterol, constant high levels of cholesterol, and other existing diseases, such as pancreatitis. Many people think that diabetes is caused by obesity, when in fact the same things that cause obesity – lack of physical exercise, bad diet – also cause diabetes, whereas some of the results of obesity – high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels – could cause diabetes. However, what doctors have learnt to do well is to read the signs and know when they are pointing toward diabetic nephropathy symptoms, and what to expect, such as kidney disease in diabetics.
But why is kidney disease in diabetics such a certainty? According to the diabetic nephropathy pathophysiology, the high levels of sugar in the blood lead to a damaging of blood vessels, including of those of the kidney, which start to leak and cannot allow the organ to perform its main function: the cleaning of the blood and balancing the levels of various substances in the body and in the blood.
Even in the case of diabetes, kidney problems usually develop in time and eventually lead to a place where dialysis is needed. Through dialysis, the functions of the kidneys are taken over by the machine which helps reestablish the proper balance of substances in the organism through the elimination of toxins and the introduction of the substances the body needs but lacks. In most cases, if not in all of them, the people starting on dialysis can never go back to their normal lives and become dependent to the procedure. Kidney disease in diabetics means gradual loss of kidney functions, up to the point of chronic kidney disease and failure.
There are some things people with diabetes must expect to change about their lifestyle when the diagnostic is set in stone. The diet must change and there will be some medication they will need to take. Usually the drug cocktail is the one a good doctor will have to prepare and change according to how the patient is feeling. A diabetic can control his/her condition and really postpone the aggravation of the disease, even if there is such a high certainty of kidney disease in diabetics.
Jessica earned a Bachelors Degree in Nutrition in University of Tennessee. She is currently a PhD Candidate at the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney.
Jessica is a health and nutrition enthusiast. She is fitness and nutrition blogger.