Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
New York, NY
January 20, 1999
Baby boomers are hitting 50 and many are being hit by type 2 diabetes, a condition that usually develops in people over 40. Over time, type 2 diabetes often leads to serious complications such as kidney failure, heart failure, stroke and eye problems. However, the results of a recently-completed study show that intensively lowering blood pressure and blood sugar can markedly reduce the risk of these complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, a 20-year follow-up of people with type 2 diabetes, confirmed that when people with this disorder reduce their blood sugar as close to normal as possible, they can see their risk of kidney failure and eye problems reduced by 25 percent. If they also have high blood pressure, and they aggressively reduce it, they can see major reductions in their risk of stroke (44 percent) and heart failure (56 percent), in addition to the eye and kidney benefits.
A test for diabetes should be part of all routine physical examinations. Having this test regularly is especially important for people who have an increased chance of developing diabetes and its complications, including African Americans, American Indians, Hispanic Americans and anyone who has a family history of the disease.
If you have any of the following symptoms of diabetes, see your doctor right away: fatigue, constant hunger or thirst, sudden weight loss, frequent urination, wounds that won't heal, repeated vaginal infections, numb or tingling hands or feet, sexual problems and blurry vision. For more information and a free brochure about diabetes and kidney disease, contact the National Kidney Foundation at (800) 622-9010.