Diabetic kidney damage might occur much earlier than thought

Scientists are saying that kidney damage caused by diabetes might start much earlier than originally thought. According to findings of a new study, blood sugar levels that are slightly above normal and indicate prediabetes increase one’s chances of experiencing kidney abnormalities, which might eventually result in kidney failure.

Dr. Toralf Melsom, one of the authors of the said study, said that the research conducted by him and his colleagues confirm that pathological process leading to kidney injury due to elevated levels of blood glucose begins in prediabetes i.e. much before the commencement of diabetes. Melsom is currently associated with the University Hospital of North Norway’s nephrology department as a senior consultant and associate professor.

This new study had more than 1,300 patients as participants, all of whom were aged between 50 and 62 years. The researchers followed these patients for 5.6 years on average. When the study started, as many as 595 patients among the ones monitored had prediabetes.

According to the authors of the study, as much as 35% of the adults can develop prediabetes (scientists are expecting that the next 15 years will see the number of patients with prediabetes will become more than 470 million). This number is almost two times of the number of people at risk of having diabetes.

Additionally, around 50% of the people suffering from prediabetes get diabetes within ten years of having prediabetes. Diabetes since a long time has been known for being the number one cause of kidney disorders and eventual kidney failure.

To come to a conclusion, researchers adjusted for several medications and lifestyle factors. They found that individuals suffering from prediabetes showcased early symptoms of kidney damage such as increased amount of the protein known as albumin in their urine.

According to facts put forward by the study, kidney disorders take place when our body starts responding to metabolic changes taking place early on because of chronically high levels of blood sugar.

Melsom stated that prediabetes might be a cause for early interventions like making dietary changes, exercising regularly and making several other lifestyle changes for preventing chronic kidney disorder.

Studies conducted previously failed to spot any consistent link between kidney damage and prediabetes. The authors of this study, however, used an extremely precise method of finding out how the kidneys are functioning in patients with prediabetes.


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