Renal Disease

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Renal or kidney disease is a problem that arises when you have diabetes that you cannot control adequately well. Diabetes is a condition that is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) within the blood. If this diabetes is not well treated, the high concentration of sugar can start to damage a number of parts of your body. These include your nerves (diabetic neuropathy), eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and kidneys (diabetic nephropathy).

Your kidneys are very delicate organs that are responsible for filtering waste products out of your blood. They do this very effectively over multiple courses throughout the day. Essentially, your blood flows past a special filter that only waste products can go through. If you have diabetes, the high levels of sugar within your blood can damage this filter, which can prevent your kidneys from working as well as they should. Over time this can become worse until the kidneys can no longer remove enough waste products from your blood. This is called kidney disease and is treated by either dialysis or a transplant. Dialysis requires you to visit hospital regularly so that your blood can be cleaned by a special machine to stop you becoming ill. The other option is transplantation, which requires a long operation and a kidney from a donor.