- by Dr Paramesh S
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- Feb 09 2017
Diabetic Kidney Damage
The kidneys play three major roles:
- removing waste products from the body, keeping toxins from building up in the bloodstream
- producing hormones that control other body functions, such as regulating blood pressure and producing red blood cells
- regulating the levels of minerals or electrolytes (e.g., sodium, calcium, and potassium) and fluid in the body
It's entirely possible to live a full, healthy life with only one kidney - one fully functioning kidney can do the work of two - but it's essential to watch for signs of any problems with the remaining kidney.
When kidneys get to the point where they can't function at all, kidney dialysis or a transplant is the only way to remove the body's waste products.
The Burden of Kidney Failure
Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure, a serious condition in which the kidneys fail to rid the body of wastes.1Kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for nearly 44 percent of new cases.1 Even when diabetes is controlled, the disease can lead to CKD and kidney failure. Most people with diabetes do not develop CKD that is severe enough to progress to kidney failure. Nearly 24 million people in the United States have diabetes, 2 and nearly 180,000 people are living with kidney failure as a result of diabetes.1
People with kidney failure undergo either dialysis, an artificial blood-cleaning process, or transplantation to receive a healthy kidney from a donor. Most U.S. citizens who develop kidney failure are eligible for federally funded care. In 2005, care for patients with kidney failure cost the United States nearly $32 billion.
Source: United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report.
African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos develop diabetes, CKD, and kidney failure at rates higher than Caucasians. Scientists have not been able to explain these higher rates. Nor can they explain fully the interplay of factors leading to kidney disease of diabetes—factors including heredity, diet, and other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. They have found that high blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will progress to kidney failure.
1United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007.
2National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Diabetes Statistics, 2007. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008.
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