Diabetes can wreak havoc on your body, especially over a long period of time. Along with increasing your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer, high blood glucose levels can cause kidney disease. The American Heart Association explains “Kidney disease means the kidneys can’t filter blood and make urine like they should.” Over the years, chronic kidney disease can develop and cannot usually be reversed.
What Diabetes Does to Your Kidneys
The kidneys job is to filter waste products from the blood. According to The American Heart Association, “High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys work harder to do their job of filtering, which over time can damage them so that they start to leak small amounts of protein (albumin) into the urine.” High blood sugars strain the kidneys because they start to process an excess amount of blood. This overworks the kidneys, and it eventually can cause them to malfunction. At this time, with only minor kidney damage, there are no detectable symptoms. Many people in the early stages of kidney damage do not know that it is occuring.
Without treatment, the kidneys will become more damaged over time. The American Diabetes Association states “the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to lose their filtering ability. Waste products then start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail.” This is called End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and is very serious. Once a person develops ESRD, they must either get a kidney transplant or have the blood filtered by a machine. This process is known as dialysis.
Early Detection Is Important
If you have diabetes, it is very important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. You should also visit your doctor at least once a year to have your urine albumin levels checked. Your doctor can test for early signs of kidney disease. If this isn’t monitored, and since there are no symptoms in the early stages, it could put you at risk for ESRD.
At Complete Care Health Centers, we specialize in diabetes care and treatment. We have many providers who can help you monitor and lower your blood sugar levels and test for kidney damage. We recommend our newest provider, Laurel Okorofsky MS, PA-C. You can work towards reversing your diabetes and decrease your risk for kidney failure. Call our clinic at 541-773-9772 and book an appointment with a provider today.