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Diabetes & Kidney Disease: What's Your Risk?

Nephropathy is another word used to describe kidney disease or damage. According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases, every year more than 100,000 people in the U.S. experience kidney failure. The most common cause of kidney failure is diabetes, which accounts for 44 percent of new cases.

Diabetic nephropathy is a term used to describe damage to your kidneys caused by diabetes. Usually, diabetic nephropathy takes years to develop; but once is does, it can cause serious damage to your health. In fact, in the most severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure.

So, how does diabetes cause kidney disease?

Throughout every meal, the food you consume digests and separates into proteins, fats, carbohydrates and sugars for your body to absorb and use for energy. If you've consumed too much sugar, or are diabetic (where your body either produces too much or too little insulin, a hormone that is produced in your pancreas that allows sugar to enter your cells to be used later for energy), high levels of blood sugar force your kidneys to filter out too much blood. Over time, your kidneys become damaged and run the risk of failing.

What are the risk factors of diabetic nephropathy?

Certain things make you more likely to develop diabetic nephropathy, If you also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you smoke, your risk of developing diabetic nephropathy is a lot higher.

What are ways you can help protect your kidneys?

Usually, if you have been noticing some kidney issues due to your diabetes, doctors will prescribe Angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that will help relax your blood vessels.

What are some supplements you can be taking to help protect your kidneys?

A group of supplements that are natural anti-glycation agents are B vitamins; specifically B6 (especially pyridoxamine), B12, Vitamin E, and folic acid.

What else do you need to know about diabetes and kidney disease?

Dr. Mike discusses the correlation between diabetes and kidney disease, as well as how to protect your kidneys from the ravages of high sugar levels.