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Introduction

This blog is about the kidneys with the emphasis on taking good care of one’s kidneys and the prevention of all factors/conditions which may have a negative impact on the renal system. Often clients do not experience symptoms of diabetes mellitus (DM), while they may be unaware of the serious long-term effects of this condition

In a study done on clients’ attitudes regarding DM, it was found that a significant number of patients do not want to be told what they should do to care for their diabetes; this especially applies to younger, better educated patients with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). It is important to determine the patient’s need for structure and/or flexibility in the self-care plan and respond appropriately (Anderson; Donnelly & Robert. 1990: 231-245)

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) describes that both types of diabetes can also lead to other long-term complications, like kidney disease, that may result in premature death. Problems like vision loss, nerve damage and infections that may lead to amputations can increase the likelihood of injuries and accidents. This increase is fuelled by a steep rise in deaths due to non-communicable disease (NCD). The globe has experienced a 30% increase in mortality due to NCD, from 2, 65, 60,300 deaths in 1990 to 3, 45, 39,900 in 2010. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is the biggest endocrine driver for GBD. It directly led to 12, 81,300 deaths in 2010, a 92.7% rise over the 1990 figure of 6, 65,000. This percentage rise is one of the steepest for any disease, with the notable exceptions of Human Immuno Deficiency virus [HIV].

Buthani & Buthani (2014: 18(6): 868–870 declare unequivocally that diabetes is a pandemic of major public health importance and cannot be disputed. While the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) data does emphasise the importance of diabetes as a global public health problem, it does not place in perspective the ranking of diabetes as compared to other diseases and illnesses. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) data highlight this fact in multiple ways. The disease and its complications or co-morbid conditions rank high in the list of risk factors and causes of death. This communication describes the global burden of diabetes especially south-east Asia and the statistical sequelae of the disease.

  • Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
  • In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012.
  • Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years. WHO estimates that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2016.
  • Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes can be treated, and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications. (World Health Organization (WHO); Global Health Estimates 2016)
Advice regarding protecting ones’ kidneys

The kidneys are the body’s filtration system and one needs to protect them when one has diabetes. Why?

Three things can contribute to kidney disease. The first is high blood sugar,” says Jason C. Baker, MD, endocrinologist and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. “If it remains high, it can lead to damage of the kidneys — both to the blood vessels that feed the kidneys and to a part of the kidneys that filter the blood.”

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two other things that can damage the blood vessels, “essentially putting pressure on the kidneys,” causing them to work harder and “to leak important things like proteins,” Baker says.

How can you avoid kidney disease? Keep your blood sugar controlled.