· Remove waste products from the body
· Balance the body’s fluids
· Help keep blood pressure under control
· Keep bones healthy
· Help make red blood cells.
When you have kidney disease, it means that the kidneys have been damaged. Kidneys can get damaged from a disease like diabetes. Once your kidneys are damaged, they cannot filter your blood nor do other jobs as well as they should.
How does diabetes affect my body?
When diabetes is not well controlled, the sugar level in your blood goes up. This is called hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can cause damage to many parts of your body, especially the kidneys, heart, blood vessels, eyes, feet, nerves.
How does diabetes cause damage to my kidneys?
Diabetes can harm the kidneys by causing damage to:
· Blood vessels inside your kidneys. The filtering units of the kidney are filled with tiny blood vessels. Over time, high sugar levels in the blood can cause these vessels to become narrow and clogged. Without enough blood, the kidneys become damaged and albumin (a type of protein) passes through these filters and ends up in the urine where it should not be.
· Nerves in your body. Diabetes can also cause damage to the nerves in your body. Nerves carry messages between your brain and all other parts of your body, including your bladder. They let your brain know when your bladder is full. But if the nerves of the bladder are damaged, you may not be able to feel when your bladder is full. The pressure from a full bladder can damage your kidneys.
· Urinary tract. If urine stays in your bladder for a long time, you may get a urinary tract infection. This is because of bacteria. Bacteria are tiny organisms like germs that can cause disease. They grow rapidly in urine with a high sugar level. Most often these infections affect the bladder, but they can sometimes spread to the kidneys.
How do I know if I have kidney damage?
Most people with early kidney damage do not have symptoms. The best way to find early kidney damage is to have a urine test once a year. This test checks for very small amounts of protein in the urine called albuminuria. It helps show kidney damage at an early stage in people with diabetes. Not everyone with kidney disease gets kidney failure. With the right treatment, you can prevent kidney disease from getting worse.