Uncontrolled diabetes is one of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease.

Sao Paulo, March 2022 — Known to be the filters of our body, the kidneys are vital and have a special date to remember to take care of them and ensure their full functioning: World Kidney Day. Celebrated on March 10, the date alerts, mainly, on the fight against chronic renal failure (CRI) and its risk factors, such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

“The high level of sugar in the body causes the kidneys to filter more blood than usual, generating an overload that causes, among other things, the incorrect elimination of proteins through the urine”, explains Dr. João Eduardo Salles , Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santa Casa de São Paulo and Vice President of the Brazilian Diabetes Society.

And it is not for nothing that the association of these diseases (Diabetes and Kidney Failure) worries specialists. According to the latest edition of the International Diabetes Federation Atlas, published in December 2021, there are more than half a billion people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide and 44% of these patients develop chronic kidney disease. This is why it is important for diabetic patients not only to take care of their blood sugar levels, but also to think about their kidney health.

Considered an epidemic by the Brazilian Society of Nephrology, CRF is estimated to affect one in ten adults worldwide and approximately 10 million people in Brazil. The disease is characterized by irreversible damage to the kidneys, the final stage of which is kidney failure, when these organs lose the ability to perform basic functions such as regulating body water and eliminating toxins .

But this and other complications can (and should!) be avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible, in addition to regular exercise, proper blood pressure and blood sugar control.

According to a study carried out by University of Michigan, published by The Lancet in May 2021, only one in 10 patients with a living diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries were receiving adequate treatment for their diabetes. “Inadequate treatment of diabetes is one of the biggest villains in the fight against complications from the disease, such as CKD. In Brazil, a country with a public health system, it is essential that different types of treatments are available to the population in order to fight the disease effectively,” emphasizes Dr. Vente.

In addition to the control of glycemic indexes through good nutrition and the proper use of drugs, the specialist explains that the realization of the test of albumin in the urine and creatinine in the blood must be included in the annual health check-up of diabetic patients, to promote early diagnosis of CKD. “It’s a silent condition, with no physical symptoms or clear warning signs, so it’s important to keep an eye out for these levels that help identify kidney performance,” he says.

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