Diabetes and its role in chronic kidney disease.

The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as a problem with your body that causes blood sugar (also known as glucose levels to rise higher than normal. Diabetes is common, affecting more than 30 million Americans. In addition, diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The mechanism of diabetes in the body.

Glucose is the human body’s primary fuel, broken down by the hormone insulin from the food you consume and delivered to your cells for energy. When the body does not produce enough (or any) insulin, or does not use it well, glucose does not get processed, remains in the blood, and does not get delivered to your cells. Excess glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels and cause a number of health problems, including:

  • Chronic kidney disease including kidney failure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Eye problems, including loss of eyesight or blindness
  • Nerve damage or neuropathy
  • Dental diseases
  • Diabetic foot ulcers and lower-extremity amputation

While kidney disease itself is not curable, it can be controlled. To do this, it is critically important to keep tight control of your blood sugar and blood pressure.

How diabetes affects the kidneys.

The role of the kidneys is to filter out waste products from the blood so they can leave the body as urine. Useful substances, such as proteins and red blood cells, are too large to pass through the millions of tiny capillaries of the kidneys’ filtration system. As a result, they remain in the blood to do what they are supposed to do.

In diabetes, the high levels of blood glucose cause damage to the kidneys’ tiny filtrating blood vessels, and they can no longer clean the blood properly. As a result and over time, this causes some serious problems:

  • The kidneys begin to leak, and useful proteins (also known as albumin) are removed from the body through the urine.
  • The body retains more water and salt than it should, which results in weight gain and swelling of the ankles.
  • Damage to the nerves (neuropathy) can cause difficulty emptying the bladder.

Dallas Nephrology Associates helps control diabetes and slow CKD’s progression.

It is important to remember that kidney disease usually cannot be reversed, but its onset due to diabetes can be delayed and its progression slowed. Also, while kidney disease itself is not curable, it can be controlled. To do this, it is critically important to keep tight control of your blood sugar and blood pressure. Follow your provider’s recommendations on medications and diet, and have regular checkups to monitor your diabetes. At Dallas Nephrology Associates, we provide the complete range of leading-edge care for managing both diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

Want to know more about kidney disease?

For more information about chronic kidney disease from the nephrology specialists at DNA, click on the links below.

For optimal care for—and control of—kidney disease, let the experienced, highly trained and skilled kidney specialists at Dallas Nephrology Associates provide the state-of-care you can depend on. Call 877-654-3639, or contact us via our convenient online form.