Diabetes is the number cause of kidney failure requiring dialysis in the United States. Know how to protect yourself. Know the testing that you need to get. Know if you are at risk for diabetes. There are over 400,000 people who have end stage kidney disease and either need dialysis or kidney transplantation. Again, Diabetes is the major cause.
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At Risk People
People at risk include individuals who: have a family history of diabetes; over their ideal body weight; had diabetes with pregnancy only; exercise less and have a sedentary lifestyle; have impaired glucose intolerance (fasting sugars between 100 - 109 usually); and have high normal fasting sugars especially if they have high triglyceride (fat) level in the blood.
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
Ask your health care provider to screen you for diabetic kidney disease. You will need a blood creatinine level which can be used to determine your kidney function measured in milliliters per minute or GFR. To calculate your kidney function more precisely your provider will take into account your age, sex, race, and weight. Your urine will need to be screened for protein. A small amount of protein in the urine is called microalbuminuria. Larger amount is called more generally proteinuria or frank proteinuria.
Minimizing the Risks for Kidney Disease Caused By Diabetes:
1. Get your sugar control number (glycohemoglobin or hemoglobin A1C) below 7%.
2. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), get your blood pressure below 130/80.
3. If you have small or large amounts of protein in the urine, ask your health care provider if you are right for a group of medicines called Ace Inhibitors and ARB's which can lower the protein in the urine and help to protect your kidneys against diabetes.
4. Exercise (if OK with your healthcare provider) at least 3 times per week. Aerobic activity is needed.
5. Get down to your Ideal Body weight.
6. If you have a family history of Diabetes, get screened.
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Orville Campbell, MD is an internist and nephrologist. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. His expertise include: health and wellness, hypertension, diabetes, vitamin D, and kidney diseases.
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