Even though only a small percentage of Type 2 diabetics actually develop kidney failure, chronic damage to the kidneys eventually necessitating dialysis is one of the most dreaded complications of diabetes. For diabetics who are in the beginning stages of kidney failure and who do not need dialysis yet, the probiotic bacterium Bacillus coagulans may offer a helpful treatment.
Bacillus coagulans is a symbiotic, probiotic, helpful species of bacteria. It's not like the better-known Lactobacillus acidophilus in that it easily survives passage through the acid environment of the stomach. In fact, "digesting" this kind of probiotic activates it. The acid in the stomach dissolves it's spores, and then the spores germinate in the colon.
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Once the "bug" gets into the colon, it interacts with neutrophils. These are the white blood cells that "zap" disease-causing microorganisms and zap healthy tissue at the same time. By sheer numbers, the bacteria train the immune system not to inflame and destroy healthy tissues. This keeps the neutrophils from damaging the tissues in the nose and throat when people encounter colds and flu viruses.
But that's not all B. coagulans does. It also feeds on urea and proteins that otherwise would literally clog the filtration tubes, the glomeruli, of the kidneys. It breaks down proteins to take the amino acids it needs, freeing the other amino acids to be used by its human host. In this form, excess protein in the diet... which becomes very, very difficult to avoid in diabetic kidney disease... doesn't create a problem for the kidneys. They don't have to strain out the larger protein molecules, and the body can use most of the amino acids. (The rest become urea and sugar, and B. coagulans can also break down urea).
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There is never going to be a time when a Type 2 diabetic with advanced kidney failure can pop a probiotic pill and skip dialysis. However, Type 2 diabetics with early stage kidney failure may be able to buy themselves time to do the things that are fundamental to reversing kidney disease, which are keeping blood sugar levels in good control and controlling high blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetics with who do not have indwelling catheters (who don't do dialysis at home), may be able to benefit from taking capsules of this friendly bacterium, too. It's important to let the doctor know you are taking any kind of probiotic in case your treatment changes.
And even if you have a permanent catheter, Bacillus coagulans is probably safe to take. The only way you could run into a problem is that you use a "drink" form of the product, the drink gets contaminated with other kinds of microorganisms, the spill gets on your catheter, and the bacteria get inside you. The B. coagulans itself is not likely to cause any diabetics any problems, but work with your doctors, nurses, and technicians to make sure. If this complementary treatment will work for you, it will like cost less than US $1 per day.
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Beverleigh Piepers RN... the Diabetes Detective.
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