Diabetes is a disease where the amount of sugar in the blood is too high. High sugar can also be detected in the urine. In diabetes, your body has a problem with either making or using insulin, which is a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. There are two types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, which usually begins in childhood, the body does not make enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes the body makes insulin, but cannot use it properly. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in people over 45 years of age, but is becoming more common in younger people.
Having too much sugar over time can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes. With diabetes, small blood vessels in the body are injured, which can lead to many kinds of health problems. Diabetes can damage the eyes, nerves, heart, and kidneys. Nerve damage from diabetes can create problems related to your bladder. If your bladder cannot work properly, it can lead to a backup of urine, which can injure kidneys or raise the risk of infection. Diabetes can also increase the risk for heart and blood vessel disease (heart attack and stroke) and kidney disease.
The kidney has many important functions. It is responsible for filtering the blood. Kidneys maintain the salt-water balance in the body, remove waste products, and do other important things to keep the body healthy. As the blood filtering units for the body, kidneys are prone to problems with blood circulation and blood vessels. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, the kidneys cannot clean blood properly. Waste products and extra water can accumulate inside the body.
Diabetes has been linked with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is a gradual loss of kidney function over time. Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney failure, which means the kidneys are no longer able to work. People with kidney failure need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) means a person has diabetes and a gradual loss if kidney function. People with DKD have a higher risk of kidney failure and heart and blood vessel disease.
The link between diabetes and CKD is the reason why taking care of your sugar levels can also help your kidneys. If you have diabetes, regular monitoring of your blood sugar is very important and you should also talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested for kidney disease. If you have foamy urine, it can be normal or it can suggest excess protein in the urine, which is a sign of kidney disease. Your healthcare provider can determine this with further testing.
If you have diabetes, you should also get regular checkups for your eyes. Diabetes can lead to damage in the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, leading to vision problems.
Blood sugar control is a very important part of diabetes management, which is why it is important to keep blood sugar levels within normal limits and follow the plan of care recommended by your healthcare provider. Generally, this plan of care can include controlling your sugar intake, taking medicines as prescribed, and getting regular exercise and physical activity.
Many people with diabetes or kidney disease also have high blood pressure, which is the second leading cause of kidney failure. Managing your blood pressure is an important way to take care of your heart and blood vessels. Treating high blood pressure can include diet, weight management, and a healthier lifestyle (regular exercise and not smoking). It can also include lower salt intake and certain medications as recommended by your healthcare provider.