How does diabetes affect the kidneys? Diabetes can damage the kidneys as well as many other parts of the body by causing problems with small blood vessels as well as nerves in the body.
Diabetes affects the hormone insulin which is produced by the pancreas. This hormone controls the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. If there is an imbalance of glucose which results in high blood sugar, many problems can occur in body organs including the kidneys.
Kidneys are important for three reasons. The kidneys remove wastes from the blood by the urinary tract and returns cleaned blood back to the body. They also regulate levels of water and minerals which are needed by the body and they produce hormones which control other body functions.
The kidneys are affected by diabetes because of the damage that can be done to the small blood vessels which are needed to filter the blood. This will show up as excess protein in the urine. Often if not treated, so much protein is lost that water from the blood moves into body tissues and causes swelling. Diabetes also causes damage to nerves in parts of the body. The nerves in the bladder can be affected making it difficult to urinate. This can also cause damage to the kidneys. Also because of the high level of sugar, there are problems with frequent kidney infections. All of these problems can damage the kidneys and even damage the kidneys so badly that they fail to function.
What happens when the kidneys fail? The body has no way to rid itself of waste and toxins, so a person with kidney failure needs to have dialysis treatment and eventually a possible kidney transplant.
All of this can be controlled by managing the diabetes itself with regular monitoring of blood glucose level along with insulin therapy or other medication. This along with diet changes and regular urine and blood test to monitor for any kidney damage, can usually control any damage to the kidneys. This part of a diabetic’s treatment plan is managed by a diabetic’s primary care physician.
As you can see, the damage to the body is done by two problems – narrowing of the blood vessels as well as damage to the nervous system. These two problems can also cause damage to a diabetic’s feet, gums and mouth as well as the retina of the eyes. This is why the diabetic needs to have regular visits to the dentist as well as regular visits to the eye doctor.
How does diabetes affect the kidneys? Diabetes can damage the kidneys as well as many other parts of the body by affecting the blood circulation system as will as the nerve system.