Diabetes is a serious medical condition. And, while most people are aware that it can affect a person’s weight, blood sugar, and general health, many are not aware of the many secondhand conditions it can cause.
One of those conditions is renal failure, also known as kidney failure. Unfortunately, many diabetics are unaware of the fact that their kidneys are at risk.
Therefore, if you are a diabetic, make sure you educate yourself on the link between these two conditions, the signs of kidney failure or general kidney problems, and what you can do to reduce your risk of kidney failure.
Know the Link Between these Two Conditions
The first thing to understand is how diabetes leads to kidney failure. Keep in mind that the two don’t always go together.
Essentially, your kidneys get damaged when you suffer from high blood sugar. The longer you suffer from the high blood sugar, the higher it is, and the more frequently you suffer from this issue, the more likely it is that your kidneys will be damaged. The damage tends to get worse with time.
Also, diabetics who do not control their diabetes well are more prone to high blood pressure. This condition, also known as hypertension, can also damage the kidneys.
Given this information, it is very important for diabetics to monitor both their blood sugar levels and their blood pressure. Keeping both within the healthy range can greatly reduce the risk of suffering from kidney disease or kidney failure.
Other Risk Factors to Be Aware Of
Since high blood sugar and high blood pressure both contribute to kidney failure, it makes sense that behaviors that cause these things would also contribute to this condition.
Such behaviors include smoking and eating too much sodium, both of which can lead to high blood pressure. Other “bad behaviors” to watch out for include not following a healthy diet as recommended by a physician, not getting adequate exercise, and being overweight, all of which contribute to higher blood sugar levels.
Those who have family histories of kidney failure are also at an increased risk for kidney failure. Thus, diabetics with a family history of kidney failure need to be especially careful when it comes to guarding against this serious and life-threatening condition.
The Warning Signs of Kidney Failure
Part of guarding yourself against kidney disease is knowing the warning signs of this problem.
After all, you can’t really protect yourself if you don’t know that a problem is present or forming. And, as is the case with most medical issues, the sooner you catch kidney problems, the easier it is to keep them from turning more serious.
Some warning signs of kidney issues or possible kidney failure include:
- Unexplained swelling and water retention
- Feeling very tired without reason
- Unexplained itchiness
- Having difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle cramps
- Changes in appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained vomiting
If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to go to a doctor immediately and to get tested for potential kidney disease and/or kidney failure.
Even if you do not experience any symptoms, keep in mind that your kidneys could still be suffering from problems related to diabetes. For that reason, regular doctor visits with a physician who knows that you are diabetic are extremely important.
Protecting Yourself Means Living Your Best Life
In addition to being aware of and on the lookout for the warning signs of kidney problems, it is important that you make every effort to live your best life health-wise.
What we mean by this is that you need to be vigilant about eating healthily. Practice portion control and watch your carbohydrate and calorie intake. You may even want to think about following a dietary plan as prescribed by a doctor or a nutritionist. Doing so will help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is also necessary for good health.
Other smart things to do include getting regular exercise, sleeping adequately, avoiding too much stress, and just trying to be as healthy as you possibly can be.
When you do these things, not only will you reduce your risk of kidney disease, but you should also find it much easier to control and manage your diabetes. Also, you can improve your chances of avoiding other secondary health concerns, such as vision problems.
And, the great thing about all of this is that when you do everything within your power to stay healthy, you’ll enjoy life more and feel better while doing it. In that regard, you are really the one who wins by making necessary sacrifices to better your health and lengthen your life.