DIABETES can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, including problems with the kidneys. Here’s how you can look after your kidneys and prevent kidney disease from developing.
Diabetes happens when the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
It is a lifelong condition, which if left untreated can cause serious health complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, foot problems, vision loss and blindness, miscarriage and stillbirth, and problems with the kidneys.
Kidney disease, otherwise known as diabetic nephropathy, can happen to anyone, but is much more common in people with diabetes and people with high blood pressure.
In people with diabetes, kidney disease develops very slowly, over many years, and is more common in people who have had the condition for over 20 years.
The kidneys regulate the amount of fluid and salts in the body, helping to control blood pressure, and also release hormones.
Kidney disease is caused by damage to small blood vessels, causing the vessels to become leaky or even stop working, subsequently leading to kidney failure.
Keeping blood glucose levels as near normal as possible can greatly reduce the risk of kidney disease developing, as well as other diabetes complications.
This is why people with diabetes are more at risk of developing the disease.
About one in three people with diabetes might develop kidney disease, according to Diabetes UK, but it can be prevented with the right treatment and by looking after the kidneys.
So, what can you do to prevent kidney disease from developing?
“Taking care of your kidneys is an essential part of managing your diabetes,” said Diabetes UK.
The first thing you should do to prevent kidney disease is make sure you attend all your medical appointments, as this way symptoms of the disease can be detected.
Secondly, it’s important to keep your blood glucose levels and blood pressure levels within your target range.
Thirdly, you should have your urine tested for protein and a blood test to measure kidney function at least once a year.
Finally, you should ensure you eat healthily, keep active and don’t smoke.