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Kidney Disease and Diabetes in the Elderly

Kidney Disease and Diabetes in the Elderly


Kidney Disease and Diabetes in the Elderly

The kidneys are two fist-shaped organs situated on each side of the spine. They filter your blood to be able to rid your body of impurities that may cause damage to your body. Kidneys also work to manage blood pressure and produce hormones kidney disease and diabetes critical to bodily function.

Kidneys are composed of smaller structures called nephrons which contain blood vessels that remove impurities from the blood in the form of urine. Even as we age, the nephron's capability to filter blood degrades which could cause kidney disease that needs treatment to filter the blood more efficiently. This really is a longterm process, so seniors are especially susceptible to kidney disease.

It is essential to detect malfunctioning kidneys early, but because this disease can not be felt in its early stages, you ought to see your doctor regularly who will perform blood and urine tests to trace early signs of declining kidney function.

If your doctor or other medical care professional associated with your eldercare has indicated that you are at risk for kidney disease, it is preferred that you keep blood pressure low (below 130/80 mmHg), take appropriate medications prescribed by your doctor, or keep diabetes in check which is commonly paired with kidney failure.


Diabetes occurs when your body can no longer produce insulin, that leads to cells being struggling to metabolize sugar in the blood. The high degrees of sugar then cause damage to the kidneys in addition to other organs. Like kidney failure, diabetes has different stages of severity, so those who have very early and less severe stages of diabetes might not be diagnosed, especially should they fail to get regular tests to spot it. Because of this, lots of people won't treat kidney disease or diabetes until it is in advanced stages where serious symptoms commence to surface. As a result of this, it is essential that seniors, those taking care of the elderly, and doctors interact to spot kidney disease at its early stages to be able to treat it more effectively and avoid more extreme damage.

Tests for Checking Diabetes:

Degrees of Serum Creatinine / (GFR - glomerular filtration rate): this really is monitored by doctors to check on the rate the nephrons in the kidney are filtering blood - this means less rate would indicate outward indications of kidney disease
Degrees of Protein in Urine / (urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio): increased protein indicate kidney disease due to inefficient filtering; also referred to as an always check for "proteinuria" or "albuminuria"
Blood pressure
Seniors who have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or a family history of kidney failure tend to be more at risk for kidney disease.

Kidney Disease Treatments

Degradation of kidney function is irreversible, which is why early identification and treatment is most very important to avoiding kidney failure. Fortunately, treatment for kidney disease is very efficient if it is identified in its early stages.

Treating other conditions like diabetes by monitoring blood glucose levels and taking medications for high blood pressure are very important for avoiding the advancement of kidney disease. Common medications for blood pressure includes either ACEi (angiotension converting enzyme inhibitors) or ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers).

End Stage Kidney Disease: Kidney Failure

Kidney failure, or when either or both of the kidneys turn off completely, can be referred to at end-stage renal disease (ESRD). When your body can no longer filter wastes, symptoms like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and itching can result. Kidney failure is treated with a kidney transplant or another procedure referred to as dialysis:

Hemodialysis involves an additional device that runs blood out of the body, filters it, and pumps it back in your body (usually must certanly be performed at the very least three times a week)
Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdominal cavity to filter blood (can be performed at home, usually during every night)

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