Diabetes and Hypertension
Did you know that diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure in the United States? High blood glucose (sugar) and high blood pressure cause damage in the kidneys and other areas of the body, including the eyes, nerves and heart. In kidney failure, the kidneys are no longer able to remove wastes and water from the body. These wastes and water build up in the body and become life-threatening.
To protect your kidneys control your:
- Glucose Level: Target range of 80-120 mg/dl before meals,
- Hemoglobin A1c: Less than 7 percent,
- Blood Pressure: Less than 130/80,
- Cholesterol: Less than 200mg/dl,
- Weight: Ask your doctor,
- Exercise on a regular basis,
- Limit protein intake,
- Talk with a dietitian about foods you should eat,
- See your doctor for prompt treatment of bladder and kidney infections,
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any drugs,
- Many medicines, those you buy for yourself or those ordered by the doctor, can damage the kidneys,
- Visit your doctor for your diabetes at least once a year or more often, if necessary,
There are no symptoms in early kidney disease. That is why it is important to visit your doctor on a regular basis and be tested. A test that measures small amounts of protein in the urine, called microalbuminuria, can determine very early kidney disease before symptoms are present.
Nine Essential Facts About Diabetes and Hypertension
- High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions that can harm the kidneys.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the second-leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the United States.
- Severe high blood pressure causes kidney malfunction over a relatively short period of time. However, even mild forms of high blood pressure can damage kidneys over several years. There may be no evidence of kidney malfunction until severe damage has occurred. It is important to avoid hypertension.
- 60 million Americans have elevated blood pressures requiring treatment with drugs or constant monitoring; half of these individuals are not aware that they have high blood pressure.
- In 90 percent of the cases, no specific cause is identified for high blood pressure. However, people who are older, people with a family history of high blood pressure, people who are overweight, and African-Americans have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure affects 38 percent of the African-American population, and 24 percent of the Caucasian population. African-Americans tend to develop high blood pressure at a younger age, and to develop more severe high blood pressure. The rate of kidney failure caused by high blood pressure in African-Americans is more than 6.5 times higher than in Caucasians.
- Elevated blood pressure frequently causes no symptoms at all, although some people may experience dizziness, headaches or nose bleeds.
- High blood pressure can affect anyone at any age, although it is much less frequent in children. Regular blood pressure checkups should begin in childhood and continue throughout life.
- Many effective drugs are available for treating high blood pressure. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising regularly and stopping smoking may be enough to regulate blood pressure.