Why Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Failure?

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Diabetes can cause kidney failure because the blood vessels in the body that are used to process protein become clogged with excess sugar in the blood. Find out how kidney failure is discovered and how to prevent it with information from a family nurse practitioner in this free video on diabetes.

Part of the Video Series: Diabetes Symptoms & Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hello have you ever asked yourself the question why does diabetes cause kidney failure? Well my name is Sonya Wade and I'm a faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and I'm also a family nurse practitioner and if you have ever asked yourself that question I hopefully will help you answer that today. The reason that diabetes causes kidney failure is because your body when you eat proteins, proteins have to be broken down into a waste product. As that waste product is sent through the tiny vessels in your kidneys when you have high blood sugar those vessels, these thin healthy blood vessels with no sugar and these having heavy sugar attached to the blood vessels they move through those vessels very slowly and they tend to clot and cause the vessels to not let the filters in the kidneys work as well as they should. Over time with the filters having to work extra hard to move the waste product into the urine so your body will eliminate it that protein ends up staying in the blood stream and the blood stream with the heavy content of high blood sugar in it it just continues to make those filters work more and more until they are over stressed and they end up failing. When this occurs your body will spill protein out in the urine. When you visit your healthcare provider there is a simple lab test that they can do to see if you have protein in your urine and if that is the case early diagnosis is your best answer to prevent kidney failure as well as managing your high blood sugar in normal limits, your blood pressure in normal limits, your cholesterol in normal limits and your healthcare provider will start you on a diet that limits your protein intake, decreases your salt intake as well as a limit on your alcohol intake. Early intervention, starting medications that can help make your kidneys work better are your best ways to prevent kidney failure because everyone with diabetes does not have to have kidney failure.

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