How to Preserve the Life of Your Diabetic Kidneys
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of kidney failure, which soaks up a large part of the national health care dollar. However, kidney disease is preventable and treatable once present.
Through years of clinical research, we’ve learned of several techniques to prevent the onset and delay the progression of diabetic kidney disease. In addition to aggressively treating kidney disease, screening methods for early diagnosis have been developed.
The successful prevention of diabetic kidney disease by maintaining tight control of blood glucose has been proven convincingly by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT).
In addition, people with high blood pressure may be able to prevent the onset of diabetic kidney disease by aggressively treating the blood pressure to keep it in the normal ranges or even lower.
It is also be possible that angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, a type of blood pressure medication, can prevent the onset of kidney disease if started early enough.
The first measure of diabetic kidney disease is the presence of small amounts of albumin in the urine, known as microalbuminuria.
Once microalbuminuria is present, there are therapeutic ways to slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease. This is why screening is so important—so that aggressive management can be started in a timely fashion.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you should be screened for microalbuminuria once a year beginning five years from the time of your diagnosis.
Blood Glucose Control — Aggressive blood glucose control can slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease.
Blood Pressure Control — Proper blood pressure screening is also an important tool in detecting the signs of early kidney disease. If you have or are at risk for the development of kidney disease, I suggest you obtain an accurate home blood pressure monitoring device so that you can take your own readings on a regular basis.
Use of ACE Inhibitors
ACE inhibitors have been proven effective in preventing and slowing the progression of diabetic kidney disease in terms of reducing albumin spillage in the urine and lowering blood pressure.
Use of Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
If you are not able to take an ACE inhibitor, there is another class of medications that work in a similar manner as the ACE inhibitors. They are called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and they may prove to be just as protective of the kidneys as the ACE inhibitors.
Through prevention, early detection and aggressive management, you can make a difference in the life of your diabetic kidneys.
Commonly Used ACE Inhibitors
Commonly Used ARBs