Effects on the Kidney
Diabetes can cause irreparable damage to your kidneys in the long run. Kidney damage from diabetes is called Diabetic Nephropathy. This condition occurs only in people with diabetes.
Some of the early signs of kidney damage include presence of Albumin in the urine, tiredness, swollen ankles and breathlessness.
The job of the kidney is to filter the blood and remove waste products from other bodily functions. The kidneys are made up of millions of closely packed small blood vessels to filter the blood. If your blood glucose levels are high most of the time, the chances of suffering serious kidney disease increase.
Take preventive steps early...
It is important to prevent the kidneys from becoming affected in diabetes. The damage to kidneys in a diabetic occurs long before the symptoms start showing. Tight blood sugar control and tight blood pressure control goes a long way in preventing the kidneys from getting affected in diabetes.
Diabetic Nephropathy results in progressive damage to the small filtering units of the kidneys called Glomeruli. Usually the first indication of damage to the kidney, is the appearance of protein (mostly albumin) in the urine. The protein, which we all carry in our blood, leaks through the damaged glomeruli, or small filtering tubes, and appears in the urine. It may be detected when a doctor does a routine urine protein test.
As the amount of protein lost into the urine increases, the levels of it in the blood fall below the normal range. Then some of the water in the blood vessels seeps into the tissue under the skin to produce a swelling called edema. As damage to the small blood vessels continues to progress, the kidneys will have more and more problems getting rid of waste products.
Another test that measures the levels of waste products in the blood is called a creatinine test. If damage continues - the kidneys will stop working. Then the alternatives are renal dialysis or a kidney transplant.