(BPT) – Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure in the United States. However, if you are among the 50 percent of Americans who have diabetes or prediabetes, you are not destined for kidney failure. There are several things you can do to protect your kidneys and prevent serious and life-threatening consequences.
"Diabetes-related kidney disease is silent and develops long before symptoms appear," says Dugan Maddux, MD, vice president for kidney disease initiatives, Fresenius Medical Care North America. "That's why people living with diabetes should be screened for kidney disease regularly. Identifying kidney disease early creates the opportunity to slow its progression and preserve kidney function."
Diabetes causes a buildup of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Over time, uncontrolled glucose damages kidney tissue and negatively impacts kidney function, allowing the build-up of wastes and fluids in the body. About 30 percent of people with Type 1 diabetes and from 10 to 40 percent with Type 2 diabetes will develop kidney disease.
The good news is there are a number of things people living with diabetes can do to help prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.
Control your diabetes by eating healthy, staying active and regularly monitoring your blood sugar.
Get tested for chronic kidney disease regularly:
* At least once a year your blood should be tested for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which shows how well your kidneys are filtering your blood; and your urine for albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR), which indicates if you have protein in your urine, meaning your kidneys are not healthy.
* At least twice a year your A1C levels should be tested. A1C is your average blood glucose level over three months. Your doctor will help determine your goal.
* Frequently have your blood pressure evaluated to be sure it's lower than 140/90. High blood pressure not only causes kidney problems, but can be a sign that you have kidney disease.
Ask about comprehensive treatment, including:
* Blood pressure medication: Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can control your blood pressure and slow kidney disease. Other blood pressure medications such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers may also help.
* Intensive insulin therapy: This aggressive therapy involves more frequent monitoring and tight control of blood glucose levels. It can be challenging, but research shows it may prevent or slow progression of kidney disease in people with Type 1 diabetes by 50 percent.
* Avoiding high-protein diets: Processing protein makes your kidneys work harder, so people with - or at risk for - kidney disease might be told to avoid a high-protein diet. A dietitian can help you determine the amount of protein you should eat.
Getting started on an effective treatment plan as soon as possible helps preserve kidney function and may prevent kidney disease or slow its progression. If your kidneys do fail, you have options. Your health care team can help with education and decisions about treatment for kidney failure which may include having dialysis treatments in your own home or at a local clinic, and you may also explore the possibility of a kidney transplant.
"Good medical care and healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent kidney disease, which is why it's important that people with diabetes work closely with their doctors and their multidisciplinary care team to get tested and treated and stay as healthy as possible," Dr. Maddux says. "At Fresenius Kidney Care and by extension through our partners, we understand how chronic diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease affect people's lives and we are dedicated to supporting patients so they can continue to live and thrive."
If you are interested in learning more about kidney disease, visit www.freseniuskidneycare.com/about-chronic-kidney-disease.
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According to the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet almost 24 million Americans (nearly 8% of the population) have diabetes. 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes (diagnosed with a fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dL – 125 mg/dL whereas diabetes is diagnosed at one point higher, 126 mg/dL) and there are 1.6 million new diabetes cases each year of those 20 years and older.The risk increases for heart disease and stroke, hypertension, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputation if you have diabetes.These statistics may encourage you to be proactive with your disease.
Your numbers are critical in your diabetes self-management. The numbers I’m referring to are your A1c (3-month blood sugar average that should be 7% or less, according to the American Diabetes Association), cholesterol (know both your HDLs and LDLs), blood pressure and glucose readings throughout the day. HDL is your healthy cholesterol and should be over 45 mg/dL for men and over 55 mg/dL for women. LDL is your “lousy” cholesterol and should be under 70 mg/dL if you have diabetes and blood pressure should be under 130/80 if you have diabetes. There are A1c and cholesterol kits as well as blood glucose meters that are readily available to you.
There are also blood pressure monitors that you can use at home so that you are relaxed prior to your reading. There are different types of monitors such as a wrist blood pressure monitor or an arm blood pressure monitor and some that are even automatic! There is a new blood pressure monitor called the Omron HEM-780 that is unique because it detects high morning blood pressure. This is important since morning blood pressure is a good predictor of stroke, one of the diabetes complications. Take advantage of these tools since these numbers give you and your healthcare team information to make changes in your treatment if necessary. If cost is an issue, these life-saving items are all available as diabetes wholesale products. American Diabetes Wholesale is a great place for diabetic supplies.
The best times to check your blood glucose is before meals and 2 hours after you start to eat that meal. You may also try to check your glucose at bedtime and the next morning before you eat or drink. Testing glucose before and after meals will allow you to see the effect of that particular meal. You may wonder how many points your blood sugar will rise from eating pizza or your favorite pasta dinner. There is no need to wonder! If you are choosing your food reasonably and it rises over 50 points then you may need a medication adjustment. This information is important to determine your course of treatment. The A1c is a very good overview of your progress; however, it does not give specific information about how your food, activity, stress (emotional or physical) or medication is reacting with your body.
American Diabetes Wholesale offers a large range of medical products & diabetic testing supplies from top brands. We have dedicated ourselves to bring wholesale diabetes products to diabetics at affordable prices. Find a wide range of diabetes monitoring devices such as blood glucose monitors & blood pressure monitors in our inventory of diabetic supplies.
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