Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease, is a too frequent complication of Type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar levels harm blood vessels, which are important parts of the kidney. When kidney disease takes place a protein called albumin is spilled into the urine, producing a condition called albuminuria. Microalbuminuria, a small amount of albumin in the urine, is the first sign of diabetic nephropathy.
Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, is a species of bacteria associated with stomach inflammation and ulcers of the stomach. Researchers at Seoul National University in South Korea looked at levels of H. pylori in the blood of study participants with and without Type 2 diabetes and compared their findings with the incidence of microalbuminuria.
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Their study, published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in January 2013, included 2,716 volunteers who entered the university's healthcare system for routine check-ups...
- more than 60 percent of study participants with microalbuminura had positive blood tests for H. pylori, compared to
- 52.8 percent of those without the bacteria.
Among patients with diabetes, infected individuals were twice as likely as uninfected people to have microalbuminura. Those with the highest amount of albumin in their urine were most likely to have positive tests for the bacteria.
H. pylori infection is quite common, and most people who have it do not have any signs or symptoms. It is normally treated only when it is found in conjunction with stomach inflammation or ulcer.
If further research shows consistent associations with diabetic nephropathy, perhaps diabetic patients in the future could be screened for the bacteria. H. pylori infection is treated successfully with antibiotics if it is thought to cause a problem.
Screening for diabetic nephropathy is important because the disease can start five to ten years before it begins to cause any signs and symptoms. When signs and symptoms do appear, they can be vague at first. They include:
- feeling tired or generally ill,
- poor appetite,
- nausea and vomiting, and
- leg swelling.
The first line of defense for preventing diabetic nephropathy is preventing or controlling Type 2 diabetes, so:
- normalize your weight,
- eat a healthful vegan diet chock full of nutrients, and
- get plenty of exercise.
If they are prescribed take your medications regularly. Measure blood sugar levels to get an idea of how well you are controlling your condition. Keep a record to give to your doctor when you go for your 6 monthly check-up.
All these steps will help you to plan your diet, exercise, and medication plan to stay healthy and avoid the complications of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. It need not slowly and inevitably get worse. You can take control of the disease... take back your health and avoid those diabetic complications.
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