How to prevent diabetic kidney disease? Health expert shares prevention tips for high blood sugar patients and treatment | Health - Hindustan Times
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How to prevent diabetic kidney disease? Health expert shares prevention tips for high blood sugar patients and treatment

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 23, 2024 04:36 PM IST

High blood sugar patients may experience high blood pressure and anemia due to reduced kidney function. Here are 6 ways to prevent diabetic kidney disease

Diabetic kidney disease, also known as diabetic nephropathy, is a serious complication of diabetes that affects the kidneys and is labelled as a “silent killer” where the main cause of this health condition is consistently high blood sugar levels over time, which can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys. This damage leads to decreased kidney function and scarring of the kidney tissue.

How to prevent diabetic kidney disease? Health expert shares prevention tips for high blood sugar patients and treatment (Photo by Shutterstock)
How to prevent diabetic kidney disease? Health expert shares prevention tips for high blood sugar patients and treatment (Photo by Shutterstock)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ruju Gala, Consultant Nephrologist and Renal Transplant Physician at Zynova Shalby Hospital in Mumbai, shared, “One of the early symptoms of diabetic kidney disease is proteinuria, which is the presence of protein in the urine. Other common symptoms include swelling in the legs or face, fatigue, and decreased appetite. As the disease progresses, individuals may experience high blood pressure and anemia due to reduced kidney function.”

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According to her, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in diabetic population is as high as 30-40%, called as diabetic kidney disease. Explaining why it is essential to prevent diabetic kidney disease, Dr Ruju Gala said, “Preventing diabetic kidney disease is crucial as it is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes. Once the kidneys become damaged, their ability to filter blood properly is compromised, leading to an accumulation of waste and fluid in the body. This can result in high blood pressure, fluid retention, and even kidney failure.”

She elaborated, “Treating diabetic kidney disease can be challenging and often requires intensive interventions such as dialysis or even a kidney transplant. Focusing on prevention through proper management of blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol can significantly reduce their risk of developing this debilitating condition. Taking proactive steps to prevent diabetic kidney disease not only helps preserve kidney function but also improves the quality of life for those living with diabetes.”

Talking about the treatment, Dr Ruju Gala said, “Treatment for diabetic kidney disease typically involves a multi-faceted approach that focuses on controlling blood sugar levels, managing blood pressure, and reducing the progression of kidney damage. For ones with more advanced stages of diabetic kidney disease, treatments may include dialysis or even kidney transplantation. These interventions can help to support kidney function. Those with diabetes need to work closely with their doctors to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to their specific needs and health goals.”

She suggested the following preventive measures:

  • Monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly is crucial in managing diabetic kidney disease. Consistent monitoring can help you identify any spikes or drops in blood sugar levels and take necessary steps to keep them within the target range.
  • Aim to keep your HbA1c levels below 7% to reduce the risk of kidney damage and complications associated with diabetes.
  • Pay close attention to your diet by opting for nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses.
  • Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary beverages and high-sodium meals as they can worsen kidney function and lead to weight gain.
  • Consulting a dietitian can help create a personalised meal plan that suits your dietary needs and promotes kidney health.
  • Staying physically active is key in managing both diabetes and kidney disease. Regular exercise helps improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure and control blood sugar levels effectively. Incorporate exercises like walking, gymming, swimming or cycling into your routine for at least 30 minutes a day to enhance overall well-being and decrease the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

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