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7 Effective Ways to Beat Diabetic Kidney Disease


In 2019, approximately 1.5 million people died from the direct cause of diabetes—a disease caused by a lack of insulin in our bodies or ineffective digestion of the same. 

Insulin is a blood sugar regulator that ensures optimum sugar levels in a healthy body. Diabetic people suffer from high blood sugar levels, which damages the kidney, ultimately leading to diabetic kidney disease over a long period of time. 

People with Type-2 diabetes are at a high risk of contracting this disease, whereas it takes more than five years of Type-1 diabetes for symptoms of diabetes kidney disease to start showing.

What is Diabetic Kidney Disease?

The kidney is the body organ responsible for filtering waste and surplus water out of blood which is later excreted as urine. It also controls blood pressure and produces essential hormones necessary for good health. The organ is crucial for a healthy body. 

When a person suffers from diabetic kidney disease, their body cannot filter blood. This leads to a harmful waste build-up in the body, which then leads to kidney failure. But this does not happen overnight. An unhealthy lifestyle over several years leads you to this stage. Here are a few risk factors which contribute to diabetic kidney disease:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Obesity
  • Eating a high amount of salt in food items
  • High uncontrolled blood sugar levels
  • High unchecked blood pressure levels

Diabetic kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy is a type of kidney disease caused by both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. It is estimated that one out of every three adults with diabetes suffers from this disease. Through this blog, we will try and understand diabetic kidney disease and the ways to prevent it.

Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy (Diabetic Kidney Disease)

There are no early signs of diabetic kidney disease at first. However, as time goes by, patients can start showing the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fluid retention (swelling of hands, feet, and face)
  • Protein urination
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Fatigue

These are also the symptoms that ultimately lead to kidney failure. If you or somebody that you love is showing a majority of the above symptoms, it is advised that you consult a doctor, preferably a diabetologist. People who have Type-1 or Type-2 diabetes for more than five years should get themselves checked annually.

7 Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

Although there are medical procedures available, such as kidney dialysis and kidney transplants, to cure diabetic nephropathy, it is a wise decision to start taking care of your kidneys to prevent the need for these treatments. Let’s take a look at practical ways to prevent diabetic kidney disease and keep your kidneys healthy.

1. Maintain optimum blood sugar levels

Monitor your blood sugar levels; an ideal time to do this is after meals/exercise. There are more precise ways to measure your blood sugar levels and the effectiveness of insulin in your body. If you consult a diabetologist, they will recommend regular A1C tests. This blood test will measure your blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A high A1C number means that your blood sugar levels have increased during the past three months, which puts you at risk of further complications. Maintain optimum blood sugar levels to prevent diabetic kidney disease.

2. Maintain healthy blood pressure

A diabetic patient needs to maintain their BP below 140/90 mm Hg. High blood pressure leads to stressed blood vessels, which ultimately results in diabetic nephropathy. Eat healthily and exercise regularly to maintain your blood pressure.

3. Nutrition is the key

As is with every disease, if you pay more attention to your diet, chances are very high that you will never face a problem in life. When we talk about diabetic patients, you must develop a structured meal plan that adheres to your daily energy requirements. Eat foods low in salt, fat, and animal protein.

4. Take all of your medication regularly

After years of being a diabetes patient and having medication on a daily basis, many of us become self-proclaimed experts and stop following the doctor’s medicine plan. Do not stray away from your medicine charts, as it can lead to an unbalanced effect on your body.

5. Don’t stress

You must always be optimistic about your condition. High levels of stress ultimately lead to unhealthy blood pressure levels, which directly affect your kidneys. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and gardening are a few ways to calm yourself when you feel down by the dos and don’ts of your diabetic life.

6. Regular medical Check-ups are a must

As mentioned above, you should get yourself checked regularly for diabetic kidney disease. If you have had Type-1 diabetes for more than five years or have been recently diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, get yourself checked every year. Urine tests, A1C, biopsy, and imaging tests are the most prevalent methods. Consult a diabetologist for a better understanding of your results. 

7. Maintain your weight

Obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, which in turn is a leading cause of kidney disease. Therefore, one should always maintain their weight. If you are overweight,  reduce it and vice-versa. A healthy body is essential for effective treatments; ensure that you exercise regularly and eat healthily. 

When stressed, consult a doctor

Diabetic kidney disease is a debilitating devil that haunts the lives of many diabetic patients. Most people with Type-2 diabetes are sure to develop this disease at some point in their lifetime. However, with the steps mentioned above, you can reduce the chances of developing a severe condition such as end-stage kidney failure. 

As a diabetic patient, it might be overwhelming to follow so many rules and adhere to multiple conditions. That is why platforms like Nano Health are constantly pushing the boundaries of telemedicine to provide instant healthcare to every patient. From internal medicine, cardiologists, endocrinologists, neurologists to diabetologists, patients can consult a doctor within minutes through our platform.