How Diabetes Contributes to Kidney Failure
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, according to the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) 2007 Annual Data Report.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), the precursor to kidney failure, is considered comorbid (commonly coexisting) with diabetes.
Because of the increased risk of developing kidney disease, people with diabetes should be regularly screened for any evidence that they are developing kidney issues. Evaluation generally begins five years after diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and immediately upon diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. After initial screening, annual screenings are recommended.
What Kidneys Do
The kidney's primary purpose is to filter impurities from the blood, which are then excreted in urine. The blood is also replenished by the kidneys, with necessary proteins and other substances added back. The kidneys release three hormones, including one that stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and one that is the active form of vitamin D, which works in conjunction with calcium to maintain proper levels of calcium in the body. The third hormone helps to regulate blood pressure at proper levels.
How Diabetes Affects Kidneys
Diabetes has a significant impact on blood vessels, damaging the epithelial cells that line arteries, vessels and capillaries. This causes inflammation and increasing inflexibility of the vessel walls.
The filters in the kidney are made up of tiny blood vessels that are easily damaged. Accumulated damage to these vessels makes the kidneys less efficient at filtering and leads to retention of fluids and salts. Th Continue reading