The primary function of the kidneys is to remove waste substances from the blood and to transport clean blood back to the rest of the body. Kidney failure or renal failure means the inability of the kidneys to perform its functions of cleaning the blood and circulating the clean blood back to the body. In renal failure, the normal amount of fluid and salts can no longer be maintained in the body.
One of the very well-known and easily recognizable causes of renal failure happens to be diabetes, which depicts high blood sugar levels. These high levels of sugar in the blood cause gradual damage to the very many miniscule tiny filtering units embedded in the kidneys, ultimately leading to renal failure.
Scientific research states that over 20-30% of people suffering from diabetes will go on to acquire some sort of a kidney disease, also referred to as diabetic nephropathy, although it must be noted that it is not necessary for all of them to progress onto something as severe as a kidney failure. However, the administration of insulin to keep diabetes under control does not mean that the individual will not be susceptible to nephropathy.
Diabetic nephropathy or renal failure caused by diabetes has no as such cure, and treatment can be extended over a lifetime in order to keep conditions stable.
An individual will only be aware of renal failureor kidney problems caused by diabetes after a doctor’s checkup. Sometimes, it so happens that an individual with type 2 diabetes does not even realize his blood sugar level is high. This goes on to mean that this high blood sugar level could be slowly and gradually damaging the kidneys outside the individual’s knowledge. One of the initial symptoms of the onset of renal failure would be high protein levels found in the urine, which can only be known once the urine is tested. For many years the kidney damage caused due to diabetes, which may lead to renalfailure, may not come to display any symptoms, but eventually when the symptoms begin to emerge, they include the following:
There are a few strategies that an individual suffering from diabetes can employ in order to reduce the risk of renal failure or at least delay the onset of diabetic nephropathy. Some of these strategies include the following:
There is no cure to date for diabetic nephropathy. However, treatment should be administered on a regular basis in order to ensure the functioning of the kidneys. Furthermore, the treatment should be made more aggressive in case the kidney damage keeps increasing and is moving towards the direction of a renal failure. Some possible lines of treatment in order to prevent renal failure due to diabetes include:
Medicines such as those that work towards regulating blood pressure levels and blood sugar levels can help curb and limit kidney damage.
Dialysis can also be described as a treatment involving artificial kidney functioning. Dialysis is usually sought when the kidney is at end stage of failure and is unable to perform its functions at all. At that point in time, dialysis can be used to clean the blood off its waste and keep salt levels under check. Individuals under dialysis may require treatment a few times a week for the rest of their lives.
The last resort is a kidney transplant from a kidney donor, whereby a new kidney can take over the body and replace functions of the former diseased kidney.