Prolonged diabetes is a major cause of progressive loss of functional capacities of kidneys. High levels of glucose in the blood destroy the small blood vessels in the kidneys and subsequently they fail to carry out their work of blood filtration.
This causes microalbuminuria i.e. presence of protein in the urine which progresses to cause proteinuria and eventually kidney failure takes place. Diabetic nephropathy is more common among African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos than Caucasians.
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Symptoms: In the initial stages of kidney disease it is asymptomatic but a person with diabetes should go for microalbumin test and estimated glomerular filtration rate analysis to reveal any problems with kidney functioning. Blood test would reveal the levels of creatinine accumulated. Severe kidney damage would show symptoms like fatigue; appetite loss; ill feeling; headache; nausea and vomiting; and edema of lower legs.
Treatment of diabetic nephropathy involves intensive management of blood glucose levels to slower the progression of kidney disease. Blood glucose level is tested frequently; insulin is administered based on daily food consumption and physical activity; a restricted diet is followed and doctors are consulted regularly. In case of kidney failure dialysis or kidney transplantation is the mode of treatment.
Natural therapies for diabetic nephropathy include:
Anacardium occidentale: The extract of this herb works by lowering kidney damage induced by diabetes by virtue of its alkaloids, polyphenols and saponins.
Kalmegh: The extract of this herb when consumed regularly reduces the severity of long term complications of kidney disease caused by diabetes.
Astragalus: Consuming 250 mg to 500 mg of the standardized extract of astragalus thrice or four times a day delays the progression of diabetic nephropathy as it reduces inflammation of kidneys and works as a diuretic.
Winter melons: They work by retarding lipid peroxidation and protecting the kidneys from oxidative stress.
Red cabbage: Presence of anthocyanins and isothiocyanates makes this vegetable beneficial in reducing oxidative stress of kidney cells and eases complications of the disease.
Green tea: Daily consumption of green tea has been found to reduce chances of kidney disease in diabetics.
Cinnamon oil: Cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon oil enhances insulin synthesis in the body which turn keeps blood sugar levels under control naturally and prevents kidney disease.
Dietary fish oil: Its anti-inflammatory properties are beneficial for people suffering from diabetic nephropathy. 2 grams of high quality fish oil per day is said to be good for the patients.
Ginkgo biloba: It works by reducing renal lesion seen in early stages of diabetic nephropathy. To get the benefits you can consume its extract, capsule, tincture or tea. 240 mg a day is good for the patients.
Soya bean: It is found to reduce the ill effects of diabetes on kidneys as it has a low glycemic index but provides the body with carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals in optimal amounts.
Diet for Diabetic Nephropathy
Diet: Diet should be low in cholesterol, fat, sugar and sodium. .8 to .10 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight should be consumed. Smoking should be stopped and regular exercising is must.
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