Islets of Hope for persons newly diagnosed with diabetes
Article by Lahle Wolfe. For reprint information e-mail: Editor@isletsofhope.com
Links to more comprehensive information on complications of diabetes
Gary Scheiner, CDE
Newly Diagnosed (easier reading) Problems & Complaints with Diabetes
Comprehensive Information on Diabetes Problems & Complaints
Complications of diabetes
This section: Kidney Problems
Amputation * Blindness * Diabetic Ketoacidosis * Diabetic Neuropathy * Diabetic Retinopathy *
Click on any link to read more in-depth information about each topic.
What do my kidneys do?
The kidneys act as filters to clean the blood. They get rid of waste and extra fluid. The tiny filters throughout the kidneys are called glomeruli (gloh-MEHR-yoo-lie).
When kidneys are healthy, the artery (AR-ter-ee) brings blood and waste from the bloodstream into the kidney. The glomeruli clean the blood. Then waste and extra fluid go out into the urine through the ureter. Clean blood goes out of the kidney and back into the bloodstream through the vein.
How can diabetes hurt my kidneys?
When kidneys are working well, the tiny filters in your kidneys, the glomeruli, keep protein inside your body. You need the protein to stay healthy.
High blood glucose and high blood pressure damage the kidneys' filters. When the kidneys are damaged, the protein leaks out of the kidneys into the urine. Damaged kidneys do not do a good job of cleaning out waste and extra fluids. So not enough waste and fluids go out of the body as urine. Instead, they build up in your blood.
An early sign of kidney damage is when your kidneys leak small amounts of a protein called albumin (al-BYOO-min) into the urine.
With more damage, the kidneys leak more and more protein. This problem is called proteinuria (PRO-tee-NOOR-ee-uh). More and more wastes build up in the blood. This damage gets worse until the kidneys fail.
Diabetic nephropathy (neh-FROP-uh-thee) is the medical term for kidney problems caused by diabetes.
How can I prevent diabetes kidney problems?
Page Updated 03/23/2006