What is diabetes? #1 Cause of kidney disease.
Diabetes is also known as sugar. It is a disease where the body has problem with a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps your body use the sugar you eat for energy. When your body doesn’t use insulin the way it should, too much sugar starts to accumulate in your body and starts to cause some damage.
Blood sugar should be kept as close to normal as possible. This will help slow down kidney damage and help prevent other problems such as heart disease, stroke, amputation and blindness.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes:
Kidneys are like a filter to the body. Kidneys keep the good stuff and reject the stuff that is not required or is harmful. These filters in kidneys are full of tiny blood vessels (glomeruli). Blood sugar can hurt these tiny blood vessels. When this happens, it is called diabetic kidney disease (or diabetic nephropathy).
If the diabetic kidney disease is not treated early, it can lead to kidney failure.
Sometimes it may take many years for the diabetic kidney disease to happen. This means you have time to help protect your kidneys.
You may not be able to feel if your diabetes has hurt your kidneys. The only way to know is to be tested to find out how well your kidneys are working.
Tests for diabetes:
Blood Glucose Test: This test shows how much sugar (glucose) is in the blood. This test can be performed at home.
Hemoglobin A1C: This blood test can indicate how your blood sugar has been over the last 2 or 3 months.
Urine Test: Damaged kidneys let protein leak into the urine. The protein is called albumin. If the protein is found in urine, it could indicate that you may have microalbuminuria, proteinuria or albuminuria. This can be an early sign of kidney disease. People with diabetes should have their urine test at least once a year.
Eye Exam: Just like kidneys, eyes have many tiny blood vessels. Diabetes can hurt these blood vessels too. This can cause blindness. A regular exam is also recommended for diabetes patients.
Foot Exam: Diabetes can hurt body nerves too. This can keep you from feeling sores on your feet. These sores can get infected and don’t heal. Very bad infections can lead to amputation.
Dental Exam: Diabetes can also hurt your teeth and gums. Check with your dentist at least twice a year.