Diabetes is a condition wherein your body produces insufficient insulin or cannot utilize the insulin properly. Insulin is vital to maintaining blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause a multitude of problems in any part of your body, kidneys included. When diabetes affects the functioning of the kidneys it is called diabetic nephropathy. Another complication in relation to kidneys that is commonly seen in diabetic patients is the formation of kidney stones.
Kidney stones are bits of grit formed from minerals in the urine. Initially they start out as small grains of sand, which may hurt, but they eventually pass by themselves. Gradually, they can get larger in size, where they get stuck in the ureters and urine passageways. When this happens, stones can be extremely painful, obstruct urine flow and ultimately damage the kidneys. This is a very serious complication.
Type 2 diabetics are prone to having acidic urine. This increases their risk for developing kidney stones. Once you’ve had a kidney stone, the probability of having another is higher. This risk can be reduced by maintaining a nutritious diet and managing weight issues. Fluid intake is also a very important component of this diabetes self-management regime. But ensure that the fluids are not high on calories, like soda waters or aerated drinks.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is not only effective in lowering blood pressure, but also minimizes the chances of developing kidney stones. The DASH diet advocates foods like vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products. Whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, fish and poultry are also given a lot of importance. DASH also emphasizes portion control. It is important to keep in mind that though it is called a diet, this is a lifelong approach to eating correctly.
So, even though formation of kidney stones is a common complication in diabetes, it can be effectively managed with proper awareness, diet, exercise and proactive measures.
E193 – Diabetes complications and kidney stones – www.diabetic.today