Fighting Diabetic Kidney Disease With the Right DietDiabetic kidney disease is a health problem that occurs in some people who are already diagnosed with diabetes and can progress to kidney failure. An excess of glucose, or sugar, in your blood from diabetes damages your kidneys’ filters. This causes a protein called albumin which is important in keeping you healthy, leaks out from your blood and into your urine. If your kidneys are damaged, it’ll fail to filter waste leaving your body and extra fluid from your blood, building up in your blood and making you sick.
While diabetic kidney disease is more common in people with Type 1 diabetes, there happens to be more people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and diabetic kidney disease. The reason is because the latter is much more common than type 1 diabetes. Although it’s unlikely to have symptoms of early diabetic kidney disease, they tend to develop when the kidney disease progresses. The symptoms at first tend to be vague such as feeling tired and having less energy than usual. As it worsens, symptoms that may develop include:
1. Difficulty thinking clearly
2. A poor appetite
3. Weight loss
4. Dry, itchy skin
5. Muscle cramps
6. Fluid retention which causes swollen feet and ankles
7. Puffiness around the eyes
8. Needing to pass urine more often than usual
9. Being pale due to anaemia
One of the best ways you can slow the onset of diabetic kidney failure is to dramatically change your diet! You can start doing this by avoiding a diet high in protein, fat, sodium, and potassium. As damaged kidneys fail to remove proven waste products from your blood, it’s essential to cut back on protein, especially animal products like meat. Protein diets make your kidneys work harder and therefore, take a faster time to fail.
Also, if a significant part of your diet has cholesterol, or if high cholesterol runs in your family, extra cholesterol in your blood can build up in the walls of your blood vessels and arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. Finally, avoid foods with high-sodium. Try to limit your sodium level intake to less than a teaspoon a day. This can easily be calculated by reading the food label to find out which foods have the highest sodium levels. Consult your doctor or dietician to tailor a diet that suits your palate the most without compromising some of your favourite foods.