Kidney Disease and Diabetes
Not everyone who has diabetes gets kidney disease. This is yet another popular misconception about the illness. While uncontrolled glycemia can cause kidney disease, diabetics who maintain their proper blood glucose levels can avoid kidney disease.
Diabetics who get kidney disease acquire this life threatening condition because they are unable to dispose of the waste products of sugars and starches through their systems. These foods remain in their system and do not break down and eliminate, as they do in others without the disease. The sugars and starches stay in the system and cause the blood sugars to rise to high levels that can be dangerous. Not only that, it makes it difficult for proteins to pass through the system.
Eventually, when a person has uncontrolled diabetes and does not maintain their proper blood glucose levels, the elimination process through the kidneys ceases to function effectively. The kidneys have to work harder and harder to eliminate the waste products and the proteins are blocked. The kidneys filter too much blood and begin to leak. Protein is lost through the kidneys and from the body. Towards the end, waste products begin to build up into the blood.
This is the basics of kidney disease. Kidney disease is acquired in many ways. In diabetics, it is acquired because the kidneys worked too hard to filter out the sugars and starches and were unable to remove waste products from the blood. Eventually, like any organ that is overworked, they shut down. When the kidneys shut down, a person is often put on dialysis, in which a machine functions as the kidneys. In some cases, a person with kidney disease can opt for a transplant, however this is not often available to persons with diabetes.
A person cannot live without their kidneys. Therefore, it is imperative that a person with diabetes understands how their kidneys function and what they can do to help these vital organs function efficiently. A diabetic does not have to contact kidney disease at all. A diabetic can avoid most complications of the disease by simply following the orders of their physician and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Many diabetics are non compliant patients. Non complaint patients are those who do not do what the doctor instructs them to do. They do not follow the diet as recommended in the Glycemic Index. This chart was developed to inform people with diabetes of which foods to avoid. Those foods that are high in the glycemic index take the longest to break down and do the most damage to the kidneys, who try their best to eliminate the waste. The Glycemic Index was developed in 1981 and is a potential lifesaver for anyone with this disease as it clearly states which foods to avoid.
Other methods of non compliance include not monitoring their blood sugar. A diabetic is often prescribed a blood monitor that he or she must use several times a day to check their blood glucose levels. In addition, the levels are recorded and should be presented to the physician during their scheduled visit. Many diabetics do not comply with this integral part of their treatment.
Insulin or medication is usually prescribed for diabetics who sometimes refuse to take these lifesaving medications. The insulin or medication enables the foods to break down and assists the kidneys in eliminating waste. There is no reason not to take these medications and there are many different programs available for those who cannot afford these medications.
Exercise and weight control are crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only for diabetics, but for the general population. Yet many people simply refuse to follow these essential guidelines.
Diabetes is not necessarily a precursor to kidney disease. Kidney disease and diabetes are two different diseases. One does not always lead to the other.