Diabetic Kidney Disease is a Chronic “Silent Disease”
Diabetic kidney disease, like chronic kidney disease (CKD), is mainly a “silent disease,” that shows no symptoms. However, until it shows symptoms it slowly damages and destroys the kidneys. Even though there is no cure for it, treatment can be effective in controlling it and preventing it from progressing to kidney failure. For this reason it is very important for it to be detected so that effective treatment can begin.
Testing for Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD)
The only way DKD can be detected is by simple blood and urine tests.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends getting tested every year for diabetic kidney disease if you have type 2 diabetes or have had type 1 diabetes for more than five years.
How Diabetes Causes Kidney Disease
High Blood Levels of Glucose
High blood levels of glucose (sugar) can damage blood vessels in the kidneys. This kidney damage causes the kidneys to gradually lose the ability to filter the blood supply. As a result, certain wastes that should have been eliminated by the kidneys begin to build up in the kidneys.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, which is also very common to people with diabetes, also damages the kidneys. This can become a vicious cycle because damaged kidneys in turn can also cause high blood pressure.
Other Risk Factors for Developing Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD)
- Eating too much salty food
- Not sticking to your diabetes eating plan
- Not getting enough physical exercise
- Being overweight or obese
- Heart disease
- Family history of kidney failure
Managing Diabetic Kidney Disease
The main way to manage DKD is to get both your blood sugar and your blood pressure under control. Follow your doctor’s advice. Your doctor may recommend blood pressure lowering drugs. In fact, two types of these drugs to lower blood pressure (ACE inhibitors and ARBs) actually help to slow down the damage to the kidneys. High blood pressure, like diabetic kidney disease, is also a “silent” disease that does not produce any real noticeable symptoms. It is important to measure your blood pressure and if you suffer from high blood pressure it is highly recommended to buy a blood pressure monitor so that you can measure it daily at home.
- Follow a Healthy Lifestyle
- Following a healthy lifestyle can also help you to manage glucose levels and high blood pressure.
- Quit smoking
- Make sure to drink enough pure fresh water every day and avoid getting dehydrated.
- Cut down or quit drinking alcoholic beverages, as alcohol raises blood pressure and strong alcoholic drinks are kidney irritants, especially if you drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
- Cut down on coffee, as it raises blood pressure.
- Follow a healthy diet and limit salt (sodium) and also avoid salty foods, especially processed meat.
Maintain a healthy weight.
- Become more physically active on a daily basis.
- Make sure to get a good night’s sleep 7-8 hours.
- Learn to manage stress, as stress can raise blood pressure and glucose. See what works best for you, whether it is listening to music, yoga exercises, being close to nature, singing, dancing, praying, getting involved with a hobby or just puttering around. See what it takes to get yourself relaxed.
Short-term Rehabilitation or Long-term Skilled Nursing Care
If you or your loved one are in need of short-term rehabilitation or long-term skilled nursing care in the Syracuse area, check out the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. Van Duyn offers expert skilled nursing care at the hands of a warm and caring staff. They offer fine dining with nutritious and healthy meals and they take into consideration the special needs of a resident with diabetes.
Diabetics should discuss with their doctors about getting simple blood and urine tests to check for the presence of diabetic kidney disease (DKD).