Are your kidneys on the road to failure?
The best way to prevent diabetes related kidney complications or to slow its progression is to try to always maintain a healthy blood glucose level.
“Go back to the basics and follow the Malaysian Healthy Plate which advocates a healthy portioning through the notion of #SukuSukuSeparuh; carbohydrates (quarter plate), proteins (quarter plate), fruits and vegetables (half plate),” advised clinical dietitian from University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Poh Kai Ling.
“When it comes to watching your blood sugar levels and to avoid further damage to the kidneys, the goal is to practice healthy, balanced meals consisting of a variety of food while practicing portion control according to the Malaysian Healthy Plate," Poh added.
"You can eat any carbs but in moderation with correct portion sizes and reduce intake of salt or sodium. Less sodium in your diet will help lower blood pressure and decrease fluid buildup in your body, which is common in kidney disease,” Poh explained.
Meanwhile, the key to a successful management of these complications is a strong partnership between the patient, his or her primary doctor, support from family members and other healthcare professionals such as dieticians and nurse educators.
Consultant General Physician and Nephrologist at Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre Dr Kenneth Lai Koah Kien said ia patient with Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD), mortality and cardiovascular disease rates increase exponentially.
"Patients with DKD are more likely to die before reaching end stage kidney disease. If the patient does reach the end stage of kidney disease, they would need a form of renal replacement therapy which includes kidney transplantation or dialysis," Dr Kenneth said.
“These patients would need to monitor their co-morbidities closely with their doctors which include hypertension, obesity, hypercholesterolemia and smoking. All these are mercenaries of death together with diabetes,” Dr Kenneth added.
MEMS and MDES said healthcare professionals will advise asymptomatic diabetic patients to go for kidney and heart disease screening because these diseases are usually developed silently and patients may not have symptoms until a later stage.
"As a nation, we are racing against time as 1 in 5 adults in the country is living with diabetes therefore, early detection, prevention and treatment is key," they said.
"However, most Malaysians who are diabetic or in a pre-diabetes stage still think they are healthy because people with early stage diabetes are often asymptomatic. It is therefore crucial to get yourself screened regularly as it is the best way to prevent diabetes and its complications," they added.
For Your Sweetheart Campaign invites all Malaysians to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy with a free Diabetes HbA1c Screening at participating clinics nationwide.
This initiative is supported by Boehringer Ingelheim in partnership with Malaysian Diabetes Educators Society (MDES), Diabetes Malaysia (DM) and Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS).