Kidney problems

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Diabetes is the single most common cause of chronic kidney failure in the United States. This is due to the deterioration of small blood vessels brought on by the prolonged high level of glucose in the blood. It's your kidneys' job to remove wastes and excess fluids from the blood, among other functions. Most people can get by with just one kidney. But when both fail, serious problems occur. The first signal of kidney failure in diabetics is an excessive amount of protein in the urine. But because this and other physical symptoms may not appear until excessive damage has been done, regular examinations that include a blood test and urinalysis (your-ih-NAL-ih-siss) are vital in warding off this complication. Controlling your blood pressure and blood sugar level can also help maintain proper kidney function. In cases of acute, or temporary, kidney failure, a series of dialysis treatments can be done until the kidney heals. In cases of chronic failure, permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant are the treatment options. However, recent studies seem to suggest that in patients whose kidneys are failing, a very low-protein diet may allow the person to postpone dialysis for about a year. For more information about diabetes and kidney problems, consult a local physician.
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