Diabetes and the kidneys
Diabetes is the prime cause of the chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is also the prime cause of end-stage renal malfunction. Diabetes stops producing or using insulin in the body of the affected person, which is not in the case of other non-diabetic person.
Interrelationship between insulin & sugar/glucose
Normally our body transforms the food we take into sugar/energy. The job of insulin is to move this sugar/energy into cells. If a person is diabetic, his body will produce little or even cannot at all produce insulin; the person’s body becomes insulin resistant. Because of this situation the sugar remains in the blood stream without going to the cells, this aggravates the normal body-insulin chemistry. If the sugar level is high, over time, tiny blood vessels get damaged by the presence of high sugar level. The extent of damage reaches up to the nephrons in the kidney. The condition is known as diabetic kidney disease. Once kidney is affected, the waste materials in our body start piling up within our blood stream, instead of being removed through our normal and healthy excretion process. If we can keep our blood sugar level low we can prevent or delay diabetic kidney disease.
How does the disease start affecting a person?
Diabetic kidney disease slowly affects a person. Even after many years, the affected person may not fall sick. The detection of the problem will be possible, once the person’s urine and blood is checked. The early diagnosis of kidney damage can be detected by urine test, which may point towards protein leakage into the urine. This is known in the medical world as “albumin”. If the extent of dame is more, the kidneys will leak more and more proteins in the urine. Simultaneously there will be more waste accumulations in the blood. The progression of the stage will ultimately lead to kidney failure. However, it is not always true that if a person is diabetic, he/she will also develop kidney disease. The person will also not need any immediate treatment program for his/her effective kidney functioning. Although, the risk will obviously loom, because even before diagnosing the diabetes, the functions of kidney will start decreasing. It is always better to diagnose the problem at the earliest possible stage, so that preventive care of kidney damage can be initiated. Even with the slightest revelation of the problem, treatment option can be taken up which will be helpful in preventing further damages. It will rather help in preserving the existing kidney functions.
A person with failed kidney has three options of treatments: peritoneal dialysis, haemodialysis and kidney transplantation. Of course all these three are not equally applicable to all the patients. Doctor can best suggest the treatment. Kidney transplantation needs a donor’s healthy kidney for replacing the damaged kidney. On an average, the recovery time of the patient in the hospital takes five days. In some cases, the worst part of kidney transplantation is rejection of the transplanted kidney by the recipient’s body. The reason is human body has its own immune system for accepting or rejecting any foreign substance(s) or bacteria etc. The defence system of human body has the capacity to recognize foreign tissues. Once detected, the defence system starts combating with those tissues as “unwanted foreign invader”. To avoid this situation, regular medication is necessary, so that the invaluable transplantation does not end as “failure”.
In-depth idea of Dialysis (haemo dialysis and peritoneal dialysis)
It is an artificial blood cleansing system. Dialysis becomes unavoidable for those patients whose kidneys have stopped functioning. Two types of dialysis are there for the kidney failure cases. They are haemodialysis and peritoneal. The first one uses a machine along with an artificial kidney filter for removing excess fluids and toxins from our body.
Haemodialysis needs to be done almost 5 to 7 times a week or almost every day and that also for 3 to 5 hours in a day. The area behind the abdomen is known as peritoneum. The area has natural filter. Peritoneal dialysis makes use of this semi-preamble membrane or natural filter for removing the excess fluids or toxins from our body.
The system of Peritoneal dialysis
Dialysis fluids are filled in Peritoneum through a catheter for a specific time period. The “filter” i.e. the peritoneal lining separates waste products and excess fluids from our blood stream into the dialysis fluids. This follows draining out or draining out of the fluids. After this the peritoneum is filled with fresh/exchanged dialysis fluid.
Similarity & dissimilarity of haemodialysis & peritoneal dialysis
Both of these dialysis systems filter the blood and remove the extra fluids also. An access is needed to make either of these treatment procedures to be possible.
Haemodialysis needs a graft/fistula under the skin while peritoneal dialysis uses a catheter in the belly for the treatment.
Both the treatment has different nature of affects as the post treatment situations. A patient with the kidney damage problem, must be well aware of the both the methods of treatments.
Dialysis vs. Kidney transplant
A large number of patients prefer kidney transplant for better quality of life, greater freedom, increased level of energy and that too with lesser restrictions on diet. The most important point is, the patient feels comparatively free from the disease and/or the anxiety of kidney failure. But the truth is kidneys are not always available, even in some cases the donor-recipient pre & post matters do not end with happy notes. Sometimes the donor’s kidney is rejected by the recipient, on the other side; the donor ultimately cannot sustain the post donation complications.
It is also seen that many of the kidney transplantation candidates have to wait for a long time for getting the organ. Till the right time comes to him, he has to continue with dialysis.
All the patients with kidney problems cannot be the fitting candidates for kidney transplantation. Because some patients may have severe health problem, age problem, etc. when dialysis is found to be better alternative.
Other than this, the transplantation needs surgical procedure, which is not free from ‘during & post-surgery risks’. The rejection of the kidney by the receiving body is the major fallout in this case. These types of “transplanted kidney” patients have to take medicines for the rest of their life.
If you are trying to find the better of these two, you should talk to both types of persons to have undergone the treatment. These people can express everything they have experienced. But their opinion must not be the final one, because your doctor knows better, which one will suit you the best.