Researchers at Monash University in Australia have made an exciting discovery that could help doctors identify people with diabetes who are at risk of developing kidney disease.
This would allow doctors to intervene early, before any symptoms appear.
Kidney disease is a serious complication of diabetes that affects around one in four adults with the condition.
In fact, more than 80% of cases of end-stage renal disease (when the kidneys have stopped working properly) are caused by diabetes.
This is why it’s so important to find ways to identify people at risk early.
The researchers looked at the DNA of over 1,000 people with diabetes from Scandinavian and Asian countries.
They were searching for clues that could predict who might be at risk of developing kidney disease.
They found that a process called methylation, where a small molecule is added to DNA, was closely linked to the development of kidney disease.
Using this information, the researchers hope to develop a test that can predict who is at risk of kidney disease before any symptoms appear.
This would mean that doctors could intervene early, giving people the best possible chance of avoiding this serious complication.
The researchers say that their discovery could have a big impact on the way that diabetes is treated.
It could mean that doctors are able to identify and treat kidney disease much earlier, which would improve outcomes for people with diabetes.
The study was a collaboration between researchers from Monash University and other institutions in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and Bangkok.
How to prevent kidney disease in diabetes
People with diabetes can take several steps to prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease:
Manage blood sugar levels: Keeping blood sugar levels under control is the most important thing a person with diabetes can do to prevent kidney disease.
This involves monitoring blood sugar levels regularly and following a diabetes treatment plan, which may include medication, diet, and exercise.
Control blood pressure: High blood pressure is another major risk factor for kidney disease. People with diabetes should aim to keep their blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a balanced and healthy diet is essential for managing diabetes and reducing the risk of kidney disease.
This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, while limiting processed and high-fat foods.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of kidney disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Quit smoking: Smoking can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of kidney disease, among other health problems. Quitting smoking is an important step for reducing this risk.
Get regular check-ups: Regular kidney function tests can help detect any signs of kidney disease early, when treatment is most effective.
People with diabetes should have their kidney function tested at least once a year, and more frequently if there are any signs of kidney problems.
By following these steps, people with diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of developing kidney disease and other complications associated with diabetes.
If you care about kidney health, please read studies about how to protect your kidneys from diabetes, and drinking coffee could help reduce risk of kidney injury.
For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about foods that may prevent recurrence of kidney stones, and this exercise could benefit people with chronic kidney disease.
The study was conducted by Ishant Khurana et al and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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