How to take care of your kidneys
It is everyone’s responsibility to take good care of their bodies. Unfortunately in the modern times we are living in, we sometimes intentionally or unintentionally neglect our bodies and it is our organs which suffer the most from our life styles. When you are healthy you won’t know what privilege you have to know that you do not have any problems with your organs. It would therefore be difficult to understand the predicament people with diabetes are in as statistics are indicating that 30% of them may eventually suffer from kidney damage.
Actually, with exception of following the prescribed treatment for diabetes strictly to prescription, there is nothing a person with diabetes could do to prevent damage to the kidneys. The only thing that you should do is to test your kidneys regularly. That is why regular kidney tests are part and parcel of good diabetes care. The benefit of regular testing is that it could alert a person long before the symptoms are showing that the kidneys are not filtering as well as they should. Steps can then immediately be taken to slow down the damage. Kidney tests are also used to monitor the progress of existing kidney disease and the effectiveness of dialysis.
But what is kidney disease relating to a person suffering from diabetes? Healthy kidneys’ function is to eliminate waste products in the urine while retaining useful products for instance proteins. In kidney disease resulting from diabetes, both these functions broke down. With kidney tests one or the other of these functions are tested. One test is specifically developed to detect excess waste products in the blood which would be a clear indication that the kidneys are not excreting waste as they are suppose to do. The other test is developed to detect excess proteins in the urine which is a clear indication that proteins are not been retained.
A major problem relating to kidney problems emanating from diabetes are that in most cases kidney disease can show no symptoms until it is actually too late to do something about it. For this reason it is of the utmost importance that a person suffering from diabetes should regular test their kidneys’ functioning. The medical fraternity is adamant that every person with type 2 diabetes should have an annual test for micro-albuminuria, starting at diagnosis. They also recommend that persons with type 1 diabetes for longer than 5 years, also test their kidneys annually.
But what is the micro-albuminuria test? The micro-albuminuria test measures the levels of a protein called albuminuria in the urine. A healthy kidney allows no protein to escape. A damaged kidney would leak some protein into the urine which is wasted from the body by urinating. Albuminuria is unfortunately such a small protein that it could start leaking into the urine before much bigger proteins do. People with micro-albuminuria (small amounts of albuminuria in the urine) have a higher risk of later on getting kidney disease as well as heart and blood vessel disease. Fortunately, micro-albuminuria is not always a sign of kidney filtering problems. It is also a symptom of high blood pressure and other medical conditions. A medical practitioner would be able to diagnose the origin of the problem.
In conclusion, good diabetes management is essential to good health and long life. This includes monitoring blood glucose levels, going for HbA1c tests and having kidneys regularly tested. Kidney tests are a very necessary part of good diabetes management.