Why Does Diabetes Put Seniors at Risk for Kidney Disease?

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Diabetes can cause many health problems for older adults. Perhaps one of the most dangerous is kidney disease, or nephropathy. Kidneys that work well are extremely important to good health since they filter toxins from the body. When kidneys are damaged by diabetes, they can break down and lose their ability to effectively remove waste products from the blood.

Homecare Whitehall PA - Why Does Diabetes Put Seniors at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Homecare Whitehall PA – Why Does Diabetes Put Seniors at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes is among the top risk factors for kidney disease. In fact, about 25 percent of people who have diabetes also have kidney disease. Kidneys contain a multitude of tiny blood vessels that act like a filter for removing waste products from the blood. The waste is a byproduct of digested proteins. The waste products are smaller than the substances the body needs, like red blood cells and protein, so they slip through holes created by the filter.

Diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels that form the filter because of high blood sugar. When blood sugar is high, the kidneys have to filter more blood than normal, which wears them out. Over time, the filter starts to leak. Protein gets through and is removed from the body in the urine. Eventually, waste products start to build up in the blood. Kidney failure occurs, which must be treated with dialysis or a transplant. Early detection and treatment of kidney disease can help to slow its progression.

Preventing Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can be prevented by managing diabetes and making some lifestyle changes. Some ways to prevent kidney disease are:

Keep Blood Sugar Levels in Target Range: Make certain you know your aging relative’s target goal for blood sugar levels. Follow the doctor’s advice and treatment plan for diabetes management.

Manage High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is one of the risk factors for kidney disease, so keeping blood pressure levels within the normal range is an important part of keeping kidneys healthy.

Healthy Diet: When the older adult was diagnosed with diabetes, they probably worked with a dietitian to learn how to eat to improve blood sugar levels. If you’re unsure of the kinds of foods to serve your aging relative, talk to their doctor. You may wish to schedule an appointment with the dietitian for assistance.

Exercise: Exercise helps to keep blood sugar levels low by using up glucose for energy and making cells more sensitive to insulin.

Homecare can help diabetic seniors to avoid kidney disease. A homecare provider can prepare healthy meals and snacks that conform to the older adult’s eating plan. Homecare providers can also help with management of high blood pressure by reminding the senior when it is time to take medicine and serving foods that are low in sodium.

Sources:  http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/kidney-disease-nephropathy.html?loc=lwd-slabnav

If you or a loved one are in need of Homecare Services in Whitehall PA or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Extended Family Care of Allentown. Call today at (610) 200-6097.
About the author: Carole Chiego
Carole Chiego became a member of the Extended Family Care team in January, 2008. Prior to her role as the Administrator of the Allentown office, she was the Area Director of Operations for a home care company in East Orange, New Jersey. Carole’s extensive experience in home care spans over 17 years. Her work ethic and desire to succeed in the industry are evident in her advancement within the field ranging from Scheduling Coordinator to Medical Records Coordinator to Branch Manager and finally to Administrator and Area Director. She believes assuming these roles has made her a more effective manager. Carole gained most of her formal managerial training by attending Pennsylvania State University in pursuit of her degree in Health Policy and Administration. She attributes her informal training to have been acquired on a more personal level. Carole understands first-hand what families may experience when allowing a home care provider access to their home while providing care to their loved one. She was a caregiver for two of her grandparents until their passing and believes in the importance of allowing family members the opportunity to remain in the comfort of home if they so desire. Carole is also the mother of a child with multiple medical conditions who requires nursing services in the home. It is because of her personal experiences that Carole understands first-hand how important it is to manage a quality, high-integrity home care agency in which clients and families can place their trust and be confident they are receiving the best care possible. Carole also believes in the importance of giving back to the community. Therefore, she volunteers and spear-heads fundraising activities for a variety of charitable and professional organizations, namely the Pennsylvania Home Care Association, Autism Speaks and Avengers Baseball, Inc. Carole, a resident of Lehigh County, is married and has 2 children. In her free time, she is the “team mom” for her son’s tournament baseball team, enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and is an avid NY Giants, NY Yankees and Penn State football fan. Carol is a verified Google Author