If you are suffering from diabetes, you need to take special care of your kidneys. While diabetes affects all the crucial organs of the body, kidney failure in diabetics is way too common. High sugar levels erode the capillaries of the organs which slowly and steadily makes the kidneys dysfunctional. Diabetes kidney disease is common in people who find it difficult to maintain the blood sugar levels within the healthy range. Kidney disease in diabetics can range from mild, moderate to severe. In worse cases, diabetes can also lead to end-stage kidney disease or renal failure where dialysis or a transplant becomes the only option to look for. One way to save your kidneys from damage is to maintain proper blood sugar levels and keep a tab on dietto alleviate any stress on the organ. Apart from this, here are few tests suggested by Dr V. Mohan of Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Centre to ensure that your kidneys are doing fine:
- Fasting and postprandial plasma glucose levels: Every three months it is necessary for diabetics to go for HbA1c or glycated haemoglobin test to know how they fare when it comes to controlling diabetes. Glycemic control in type 2 diabetes is a cornerstone in reducing morbidity and mortality of the disease. Achieving glycemic control or reducing hyperglycemia significantly decreases the microvascular and macrovascular complications of diabetes. So, it your HbA1c numbers are high it also indicates that your kidneys are at risk of suffering from diabetes kidney disease.
- Blood urea: This test measures the levels of urea in your blood. Higher than normal levels of urea in the blood can indicate that your kidneys are at risk or are failing to do its job effectively. It could also be indicative of kidney failure.
- Serum creatinine: This is a blood test that measures serum creatinine levels in the blood. The kidneys remove creatinine from the body. If the kidneys are dysfunctional then they aren’t able to remove creatinine from the body. So, a high level of creatinine is a red flag.
- Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR): The glomerular filtration rate is the best test to measure your level of kidney function and determine your stage of kidney disease. Your doctor can calculate it from the results of your blood creatinine test, your age, body size and gender.
- Serum electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium and Bicarbonate): High levels of serum electrolytes like sodium, potassium and bicarbonate along with other markers like urea, creatinine, uric acid, sulphate, phosphate, phosphorus, lipids, cholesterol among others indicate onset of kidney failure.
- Serum lipids: While serum lipid profiles come in handy when we have to asses a heart condition but chronic kidney disease (CKD) shares some common risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes, with cardiovascular diseases. This is why if you are a diabetic, your doctor might take into consideration your lipid profiles too.
- Blood pressure: High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to work properly. This is why keeping a tab on your blood pressure is necessary to keep your kidneys healthy. High blood pressure could also be an indicator of kidney failure.
- Renal ultrasound: If your blood reports and urine reports say that your kidneys might be at risk of kidney failure or show signs of kidney disease, a renal ultrasound might be done to assess the extent of kidney damage.
- ECG: Since heart, kidneys and blood sugar levels are all related, doing an ECG also gives an idea of the status of kidney healthy.
- Renal vascular study: This is done to measure the blood flowing in and out of the kidneys. Any kind of damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys will hamper circulation and filtration of toxins from the blood.
These tests will help your doctor to plan a better treatment module for you and safe your kidneys from damage.
Kidney Function Test – Dr V Mohan Explains