Understanding Diabetic Kidney Disease – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Medications such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and SGLT2 inhibitors, which are also considered as blood pressure medicines, can be utilized to help manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels, thus slowing the progression of DKD.

ACE inhibitors work by blocking the action of the enzyme ACE, which is responsible for converting angiotensin I into angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels to narrow and blood pressure to increase. By using ace inhibitors or angiotensin blockers, this process can be interrupted, leading to better blood pressure management.

ARBs operate by blocking the action of angiotensin II, aiding in relaxing and dilating blood vessels, decreasing blood pressure, and facilitating blood flow.

SGLT2 inhibitors assist in reducing the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, helping to lower blood sugar levels.

Dialysis

Dialysis may be necessary for individuals with advanced kidney disease to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. The process of dialysis for diabetic kidney disease patients involves utilizing a dialysis machine and a specialized filter referred to as an artificial kidney or dialyzer to filter out wastes and water from the blood, analogous to how healthy kidneys operate.

Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are the two main types of dialysis suitable for patients with diabetic kidney disease. Dialysis is required for diabetic kidney disease patients when their kidney function declines to the point of end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant may be an option for those with end-stage kidney disease, depending on their overall health and personal preferences. The process for a kidney transplant in diabetic kidney disease patients may involve:

  1. Evaluation and referral to a transplant center
  2. Placement on the transplant waiting list
  3. Transplant surgery
  4. Post-operative care

A kidney transplant can have a considerable effect on the quality of life for diabetic kidney disease patients, as it is the recommended therapeutic option to enhance survival and quality of life in individuals with end-stage diabetic nephropathy.

Summary

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have discussed the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for Diabetic Kidney Disease. Understanding the importance of early detection and intervention, as well as maintaining optimal blood sugar and blood pressure levels through healthy lifestyle choices, is crucial in preventing or delaying the progression of DKD. By staying informed and following the guidance of healthcare professionals, individuals with diabetes can better manage their condition and protect their kidneys from the adverse effects of diabetes.

Take control of your health and make the necessary changes to manage your diabetes and keep your kidneys healthy. In doing so, you will not only improve your quality of life but also reduce the risk of developing kidney disease and its complications. The journey to better kidney health starts with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 stages of diabetic kidney disease?

Diabetic kidney disease progresses through four stages, beginning with a normal GFR of 90% or above in Stage 1, moving to GFRs of 60–89%, 30–59%, and 15–29%, respectively, in Stages 2–4.

What is the life expectancy of a diabetic kidney failure patient?

Diabetics with kidney failure have a decreased life expectancy of around 5-14 months compared to those without the condition. Additionally, those who receive dialysis regularly or have a kidney transplant may live for up to 20-30 years.

What happens in diabetic kidney disease?

Diabetic kidney disease is caused by high blood sugar and blood pressure which can damage the small blood vessels and nephrons in your kidneys. This leads to abnormal amounts of protein leaving your body in your urine, and your kidneys are not able to remove waste products and excess fluid from your body as effectively. As a result, these wastes can build up and cause damage to other organs.

Can you reverse kidney damage from diabetes?

Kidney damage caused by diabetes can’t be reversed, as damage progresses the kidneys become worse at cleansing the blood and can eventually stop working.

What are the main risk factors for developing Diabetic Kidney Disease?

The main risk factors for developing Diabetic Kidney Disease include poor blood sugar control, high blood pressure, and certain ethnic backgrounds.

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