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Your Kidneys and Pancreas Lose Their Ability to Function Properly

Your Kidneys and Pancreas Lose Their Ability to Function Properly

The kidneys are organs in the body responsible for keeping your blood clean. Much like a filter in a pool, they work to rid your body of the unhealthy things that shouldn’t remain there.


But what can happen if you have diabetes is the filter process no longer works the way it should. Your kidneys can reach the point that they’re no longer able to keep the waste material out of your bloodstream. When that happens, you can develop chronic problems that require dialysis and eventually, the kidneys may fail.  


What Happens When Diabetes Damages Your Kidneys


There are different ways the disease can cause damage to these organs. Your kidneys have capillaries that work to keep the blood clean. It does this by preventing good by-products of your food from getting filtered out, but booting out waste.


What happens over time is diabetes causes harm to these capillaries. It does this by pushing too much blood through at once. This causes the capillaries to kick into high gear and have to work overtime trying to filter all that excess blood and waste.


Finally, these little gatekeepers reach the point where they start to lag, so the good by products - such as protein - escape out into your urine. This is known as proteinuria and is a warning sign for diabetics, signaling that something isn’t right.


At this point, your kidneys are faltering. The blood circulating in your body is no longer being cleaned the way it should be. As a result, everything is beginning to build up. Your body is holding onto waste.


Besides causing damage to the capillaries, living with diabetes can also lead to bladder problems. The reason that you may end up with bladder problems is due to the nerves becoming damaged.


When the nerves affect your bladder, it can affect your ability to urinate. You may find that you’re not able to urinate completely and the urine left in the bladder can then breed bacteria that can lead to a kidney infection.


There are symptoms that your body will give off that can alert you to the fact that something is going on with your kidneys. You might notice that when you urinate, your urine looks frothy or has a lot of bubbles in it.


If it’s this way consistently, that’s a sign that you’re spilling a lot of protein. When your kidneys are damaged, it can make your blood pressure rise. One of the reasons for this is because of the fluid retention that occurs.


This fluid retention also causes your lower legs to ache, feeling as if they didn’t rest when you went to sleep. Your legs can also swell. If you get swelling in both your ankles, that’s also a symptom.


Women may experience some of the same symptoms of pregnancy - such as getting morning sickness. They may feel nauseated when they wake up or at various times throughout the day.


If you develop anemia, that’s a sign of kidney problems. Experiencing unexplained itching, especially on the lower legs, is a common sign that your kidneys are no longer working right.


The itching is caused by the waste building up. Your kidneys aren’t the only organs that can lose their ability to function properly. Diabetes can also cause your pancreas to have limited function.


Diabetes and Your Pancreas


The job of the pancreas is to make insulin. Without the right amount of insulin, you can develop trouble regulating your blood glucose, which is what eventually leads to diabetes.


Your body’s metabolic process works by prodding the pancreas to make insulin. These beta cells get to work to take the glucose that’s in your body and use it as fuel for your muscles.


It also breaks down the glucose for use in your organs. When the pancreas is affected by diabetes, it disrupts the process or work that the beta cells are supposed to do. Diabetes results in a process in which the pancreas is called on to produce more and more insulin because it’s trying to combat rising blood sugar levels.


In people with diabetes, the glucose remains in the bloodstream rather than reaching the muscles and organs. The reason this happens is pretty simple. The pancreas keeps trying to get the beta cells to cover the higher glucose levels with insulin, but diabetes causes the body to resist the process.


This is why you’ll hear the term insulin resistance. The higher the blood glucose levels, the harder the pancreas works trying to keep up. This causes the beta cells to start to burn out.


The more beta cells that are lost, the higher the glucose level will go. So it’s a cycle of not enough insulin, the push for more, and damaging the cells, which deepens the amount of insulin that’s lacking.


Eventually, this over prodding by the body for the pancreas to give it more insulin ends with the pancreas unable to do much of anything. At this point, insulin is prescribed. This process isn’t something that happens overnight.


It takes years for the pancreas to reach the point where it’s incapable of keeping up with the demand for glucose. What you have to keep in mind is that the level at which your pancreas will function depends on whether or not your diabetes is controlled.


People who constantly have high glucose levels end up with fewer beta cells in the pancreas than people who practice good diabetes management. By sticking with a diabetic care routine, you can minimize the impact diabetes has on your pancreas. 

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