When it comes to Type 2 diabetes, your kidneys are one of the most commonly affected areas of your body. Damage inflicted on your kidneys, which can range from mild to severe, can cause your kidneys to actually stop working entirely. One of the problems is much of this damage occurs before you are even aware it is occurring. That’s why it is important to understand how diabetes and kidney damage are linked.
The most serious complications of diabetes involving the urinary tract is nephropathy which involves the kidneys. Nephropathy usually occurs in people who have had diabetes for a long time.
How serious is kidney disease among diabetics? Statistic show kidneys are damaged by diabetes more than any other condition. But it isn’t just older adults who have to be concerned: Type 1 diabetics are more than a dozen times as likely to experience kidney damage as Type 2 diabetics.
What exactly does diabetes do to your kidneys? The delicate blood vessels of the kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste from your body. As blood flows through the kidneys, these blood vessels, known as capillaries, capture and remove toxins and waste from your blood. Diabetes, or unstable and high blood sugar, ravages these delicate capillaries and slowly destroys them, thus reducing and, ultimately, stopping the kidneys from being able to accomplish their duties.
When your kidneys are no longer able to function properly these toxins begin to build up in the blood and slowly poison your body. Since they are found in the blood they are subsequently carried throughout the entire body via the bloodstream.
But the damage doesn’t stop there. Damaged kidneys are also unable to remove excess fluid from your body in a timely manner. This fluid has to go somewhere, so it begins to be absorbed into tissue. The result is retained water. Not a problem, you say? It is when it begins to collect around the organs of your body, including your heart. As the volume of water increases, so does the pressure that it applies to your heart.
There’s also another component that is retained within your body: salt. Since the body can’t excrete this excess salt as it should, it remains in your body. This increases your blood pressure and raises the risk of stroke and heart attack.
There is one more problem: excess sugar is also allowed to remain within the body. Instead of being able to get rid of it through urination it piles up in the body from tissue to blood. The excess sugar wreaks havoc on your blood vessels, nerves, tissue and organs.