Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Over 40% of diabetics develop CKD, most within 10 years of their diabetes diagnosis. Many aren’t aware of their combined diseases until the kidneys are substantially damaged.
Five to 10 percent of diabetes is type 1, the result of a faulty pancreas, and the only cure is a kidney transplant. That leaves over 90 percent of diabetes as type 2. Type 2 diabetes is caused by poor lifestyle habits, usually beginning early in life. People eat way too much for too long and move too little. They enjoy loads of salty, greasy, sugary, fatty stuff that slowly stresses and exhausts their pancreas, eventually resulting in diabetes.
When diabetics learn they also have CKD, they often look to diet to control the combined problems–a very good place to look. Switching to a diet that is low in salt and red meat and high in fruits and vegetables is just the ticket.
For example, a new study in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology found that cutting back on salt even a little reduced both blood pressure and proteinuria in people with diabetic nephropathy (the combination of diabetes and CKD). Researchers studied 45 patients with type 2 diabetic nephropathy. All had proteinuria and high creatinine.
Some of the patients received dietary counseling and instruction to reduce their sodium intake to 3,000 mg/day. Others followed their normal diet but were given a diuretic to help eliminate sodium from the blood.
Both groups of subjects reduced their proteinuria and blood pressure after the 6-week study period. However, those reducing their dietary sodium intake got better results. So, researchers strongly recommended that people with diabetic nephropathy cut salt even a little.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends that all kidney patients reduce sodium to 1,500 mg/day. In the above study, researchers stated that the general population gets 3,680 mg/day. However, they found that their study subjects with diabetic nephropathy consumed 5,060 mg/day. Wow! Just having them cut back to 3,000 mg/day lowered their proteinuria and blood pressure.
You can learn more about salt and CKD in the new “Smoothies For Kidneys” book. You’ll love the low salt recipes, too.