The kidneys perform vital tasks in the human body. One of them is the formation of urine (urine). With this, the organism eliminates toxins and waste products of the metabolism, which filter the blood from urine. Also, the nephrons are involved in the control of the salt and water balance, affect the blood pressure and secrete essential hormones like erythropoietin for the formation of RBC’s.
Diabetes damages tiny vessels in the kidneys
For the filtration process, countless small balls of blood vessels are responsible, the kidney corpuscles. Persistently elevated blood sugar in diabetes damages the inner walls of blood vessels of these nephric filters. This permanently affects the filtering performance of the kidneys. Kidney function test can help you in checking the severity of renal damage.
This kidney damage, also called diabetic nephropathy, is favored by other typical side effects of diabetes. These include high blood pressure and lipid metabolism disorders. These not only promote the development of nephropathy but also accelerate their progression.
Kidney failure threatens
If nephropathy is too late or left untreated, the kidneys may fail their service. In the advanced stage of such renal insufficiency, patients are referred for a lifelong regular blood wash (dialysis) or kidney transplantation.
Kidney damage can occur at an early stage of diabetes and initially causes no discomfort. Symptoms usually show up only when the kidneys are already severely impaired. The best idea is to go for DPTA renal scan if you experience any pain during urination.
Diagnosis of diabetic kidney damage
Elevated urinary albumin levels may indicate diabetic kidney damage. A doctor can detect the protein in the laboratory based on a morning urine sample. If the albumin-creatinine quotient determined in this case is more than 30 mg albumin / g creatinine in women and more than 20 mg albumin / g creatinine in men, there is a suspicion of albuminuria and thus kidney damage. Since the albumin levels are subject to natural fluctuations and may be increased for reasons other than nephropathy, a second test must confirm the result. If there is no increased concentration, a third sample is necessary.
If KFT test confirms the suspicion of kidney damage, the doctor may initiate further investigations to make a more accurate diagnosis. The sooner diabetic nephropathy is recognized, the better are the chances of treatment. People with diabetes should, therefore, have their urine tested for protein once a year. In type 1 diabetes from the fifth year of illness, in type 2 diabetes from the time of diagnosis. After all, the latter type of diabetes has been causing unnatural damage in the body for many years until a doctor discovers it.
Other organs endangered
If there is evidence of kidney damage, sufferers should be thoroughly examined. On one hand, there may be a number of causes that require treatment - even those that have nothing to do with diabetes. On the other hand, in diabetic nephropathy often vessels in other areas of the body are damaged, so there may be more complications. Especially the eyes are often affected. But heart, vessels or legs should be checked.
For therapy, the doctor prescribes preferably drugs from the group of ACE inhibitors or AT1 blockers in case of intolerance. Well-adjusted values for blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids can also help prevent further damage to the vessels.