Creatinine is actually a by-product of the normal breakdown of muscle. In order to track the progression of diabetic kidney disease, it is important to measure the creatinine levels in the bloodstream.
Diabetic nephropathy is caused by high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. This is the main cause of kidney failure in the U.S.
As a matter of fact, kidney failure occurs within 10 years in 50 percent of individuals with overt kidney disease and type 1 diabetes.
And in individuals with overt kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, 20 percent progress to kidney failure in around 20 years. But do not panic, there is good news.
We can control our blood pressure and blood sugar levels and in that way lower the risk of kidney failure.
Studies on the Link Between These Two Things
One study notes that in obese patients low serum creatinine is actually a predictor of diabetes type 2. It is like that independent of family history of the disease, age, hypertension, gender, current smoking, and anthropometric measures.
Catch Diabetic Nephropathy
Catching diabetic nephropathy on time is important. Here time is important. Among the best screening tools regarding the earliest stages is the microalbuminuria test.
When the kidneys are damaged, a small amount of protein leaks into the urine. This is actually a condition which is known as microalbuminuria.
According to recommendations, those with type 1 diabetes should screen for microalbuminuria for 5 years. And those with diabetes type 2 at the time of diagnosis because their condition might have been causing and developing issues long before it was even diagnosed.
To sum up, all of them need to do a screening at least once per year; the best thing would be to do this test every 6 months.
Different Tests for Some People
Microalbuminuria is a sensitive test for those with type 1 diabetes. However, this test might miss many cases of diabetic kidney disease when it comes to those with type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, some experts recommend these people also test the GFR, i.e., glomerular filtration rate. This is a measure of how well can the kidneys filter waste from our blood.
In fact, a low glomerular filtration rate indicates kidney disease. However, at the moment it is not able to measure GFR directly, but only closely approximated with the help of blood concentration of creatinine.
If our kidneys are healthy, they excrete creatinine in our urine. Moreover, a buildup of creatinine in our bloodstream is a warning sign that our kidney is starting to decline.
Doctors measure the creatinine concentration in our bloodstream and put it in an equation with our gender, age, weight, and race, and that is how they can estimate the GFR in order to evaluate the function of our kidneys.
If the blood creatinine levels are high, that means that the GFR is low and that our kidneys are in bad shape.
In addition, some doctors use the GFR calculation and blood creatinine levels to keep track of the decline of kidney function and to estimate the benefits of the treatment.