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How Diabetes is Linked With Kidney Failure?

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of kidney failure which accounts for almost 44 percent of all new cases. Even in cases where diabetes is controlled it can eventually lead to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) & kidney failure. However, most people with diabetes do not necessarily develop CKD which is so severe as to lead to kidney failure. People suffering from kidney failure either undergo dialysis which is an artificial blood cleansing procedure or Kidney Transplantation so as to receive a healthy kidney from a donor.


Prone to Diabetes & Kidney Failure

Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, American Indians & African Americans are more prone to developing diabetes, CKD & kidney failure at rates which are higher than Caucasians. Scientists are however unable to explain the causes for this, nor are they able to fully explain the interplay of factors eventually leading to Kidney disease of diabetes. Basic factors which influence this phenomenon include diet, heredity & other medical conditions like High blood pressure. But then they have found that high levels of blood glucose & high blood pressure definitely increase risk of people with diabetes progress to kidney failure.

During the Course of Kidney Disease

Development of Diabetic Kidney Disease takes place over many years. Filtering function of kidneys in some people is however higher than normal within the first few years of diabetes. People developing kidney disease will find small amounts of blood protein albumin leaking into urine. This is the first stage of CKD is called microalbuminuria when filtration function of kidneys usually remains normal during this time. As disease progresses, more albumin leaks into urine & is subsequently called proteinuria or macroalbuminuria. With increase of albumin in urine the filtering function of kidneys begins to drop, whereby as a result body retains various wastes. Kidney damage then develops along with high blood pressure. Overall, it is rare that kidney damage will occur within the first 10 years of diabetes. Kidney failure usually takes about 15 – 25 years of diabetes to occur. Moreover, risk of developing kidney failure decreases for people when it has not happened for more than 25 years with diabetes.

Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease

People with diabetes need to be regularly screened for Kidney disease. Key markers for kidney disease are eGFR & Urine Albumin. In case kidney disease is detected, it should sensibly be addressed as part of a comprehensive approach in treatment of diabetes.

  • eGFReGFR basically stands for estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate. Every single kidney contains almost 1 million tiny filters which are made up of blood vessels. These filters are known as glomeruli. Functioning capacity of kidney can be checked by estimating the volume of blood glomeruli filter within a minute. Calculation of eGFR is based upon the smount of Creatinine waste product which is found within a blood sample. eGFR goes down as level of Creatinine goes up in blood. Kidney disease is generally considered to be present when eGFR is lesser than 60 milliliters per minute. eGFR is also recommended to be calculated from serum Creatinine at least once every year among people with diabetes.
  • Urine AlbuminUrine albumin is generally measured by comparing amount of albumin with amount of Creatinine within a single urine sample. In healthy kidneys samples of urine will contain large amounts of Creatinine with almost no amount of albumin. Therefore, even a small amount of increase in ratio of albumin to Creatinine will indicate damage to kidneys. Kidney disease is usually considered to be present when more than 30 milligrams of albumin are detected per gram of Creatinine, with or without any decrease in eGFR. Annual testing of urine albumin excretion is expected so as to assess kidney damage in people with type 2 diabetes & among people who have type 1 diabetes for 5 years or more.

Ideal to Consume Moderate-Protein Diets

Excessive consumption of protein may be harmful for people with diabetes. Most experts suggest people with kidney disease of diabetes only consume recommended dietary allowance for protein & avoid high-protein diets. People with greatly reduced kidney functions can consume diet containing reduced amount of proteins & which will help them delay onset of kidney failure. Therefore, it would be quite sensible for people following reduced-protein diet to work with dieticians so as to ensure adequate nutrition.

Dialysis & Transplantation

People with diabetes experiencing kidney failure must either undergo dialysis or kidney transplant. Medical experts in the past commonly excluded people with diabetes from dialysis & transplantation because they felt damage caused by diabetes would offset benefits of treatment. But nowadays, due to better control of diabetes & improved rates of survival following treatments, doctors are less hesitant to offer dialysis & kidney transplantation for people with diabetes. As of now, survival of kidney transplants in people with Diabetes is almost the same as survival of kidney transplants into people without diabetes. Moreover, dialysis for people suffering with diabetes also works very well in the short run, although people with diabetes receiving kidney transplants or undergoing dialysis experience higher morbidity & mortality due to coexisting complications like damage to nerves, eyes & heart associated with diabetes.

Kidney Transplant & Chronic Kidney Disease Treatment in India

Complications associated with chronic kidney disease include anemia, high blood pressure, poor nutritional health, weak bones & nerve damage. Kidney disease also increases risk of having heart & blood vessel disease which can happen slowly over a long period of time. Early detection & treatment is therefore essential so as to keep chronic diseases from getting worse. India is a globally renowned medical tourism destination providing a wide spectrum of affordable medical solutions including kidney transplantation for people from all around the world. IndianMedTrip is one of the fastest growing healthcare tourism companies in South Asia which can offer high-quality yet low-cost medical solutions including kidney transplantation for international patients.


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