11/25/2021 at 2:30 PM CET
When we talk about diabetes we all immediately associate it with excess blood sugar levels. And we also know that it is a pathology that, if not monitored and controlled, can lead to serious complications such as heart attacks, blindness or strokes.
But they are not the only complications. The Spanish Society of Nephrology (SEN) warns of the strong relationship between diabetes and kidney disease. So much so, that the SEN points to this pathology as the main cause of kidney failure and the need for Renal Replacement Treatment (RRT), that is, dialysis or transplantation, in Spain.
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In addition, diabetes has become the first cause Chronic Kidney Disease (ERC) in the last decade. And according to the Spanish Registry of Renal Patients (REER) in 2020, 26% of the new cases of CKD patients who started dialysis or transplantation in Spain, that is, more than 1,700 people, were due to diabetes.
Diabetic kidney disease is one that patients with diabetes suffer and that includes kidney disease among its most relevant complications. It is especially common among patients aged 65-74 years, who represent 35% of cases, and among those aged 45-64 years, 32%.
Up to 30-40% of patients with type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic kidney disease, which may require renal replacement therapy, which is why it has been considered by the Ministry of Health as one of the chronic pathologies of preferential attention by the National Health System.
Diagnosis and treatment of diabetic kidney disease
“The diagnosis of CKD in diabetes is simple and within everyone’s reach, with a blood sample to determine creatinine and estimate glomerular filtration rate, and with a urine sample to determine the albumin / creatinine ratio, we can diagnose or rule out the existence of kidney disease in a diabetic ”, explains the president of the SEN, Dr. Patricia de Sequera.
Furthermore, “different studies and clinical trials developed with new drugs in recent years have confirmed that the progression of diabetic kidney disease can be slowed down, and that its treatment with these therapies implies important advantages not only to slow the progression of this pathology, but also to improve the diagnoses of kidney problems and cardiovascular disease in kidney patients with diabetes, “he adds
1 in 4 dialysis or transplant patients has diabetes
«Diabetes associated with chronic kidney disease It is one of the health problems with the greatest impact on our society today. One in four patients who start dialysis or transplantation in Spain does so as a consequence of this pathology. In addition, in the last 10 years the prevalence rate of diabetes as a cause of Chronic Kidney Disease has grown by 17%. Hence the importance of raising awareness about an intensive, comprehensive and multidisciplinary management for diabetes and CKD, and, above all, of promoting initiatives that contribute to its prevention through strategies that promote a healthy lifestyle, “adds the doctor. .
An excess of undiagnosed cases
Studies such as EPIRCE and ENRICA-Renal place the prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease in Spain between 10% -15%, with an underdiagnosis that exceeds 40%, which has led experts to classify it as the “silent epidemic ».
In our country, about 7 million people already have CKD. Its prevalence in the most advanced stages of the disease has grown in recent years, and specifically those that require renal replacement therapy.
The number of people who need dialysis (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) or transplantation already exceeds 1,300 per million of the population in our country, standing at 64,666 people.
To this concern of the increase in the prevalence (total number of patients) of chronic kidney disease the increase in incidence is also added (new cases).
And, according to nephrology experts, the data warn of an increase of 17% in new patients who need replacement kidney treatments in just ten years.
To reverse this situation, and control diabetes and, in general, the risk factors associated with kidney disease, the SEN demands a greater effort in awareness campaigns on the importance of leading healthy lifestyles for kidney health.
A balanced diet, physical activity, quitting tobacco and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure, if present, can slow the progression of kidney disease by up to 50% and in some cases even reverse the damage.
To prevent and control diabetes and other risk factors associated with kidney disease, the SEN offers these essential recommendations to the population:
Healthy nutrition. Healthy, low-fat food. Eat fresh foods, with a predominance of vegetables and fruits, avoiding those that raise glucose. Also avoid excess salt. Sugar control. It is essential to control the amounts of sugar that are consumed, and to carry out tests of glucose levels in the blood to know the glycemic figures. If the patient is already diabetic, control is the best way to prevent not only the onset of kidney disease, but also others such as ocular or heart disease, blood pressure and cholesterol. Likewise, it is necessary to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, to avoid the complications of diabetes. Avoid being overweight and increase physical activity. About 45 min. of exercise a day will help you feel better. No alcohol and tobacco. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol as much as possible. Make check-ups and consult your doctor. Diagnostic tests for diabetes are recommended to prevent, detect, and successfully treat any type of complication.