Diabetes and kidney disease prevention
Results from a 4-1/2 year study of almost 1300 Chinese people with type 2 diabetes points to the American Diabetes Association targets to answer this question. (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010:170:155-161). The study researchers reported that meeting the ADA target goals for hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides make a difference in keeping kidneys healthy. In fact, focusing on these targets can reduce risk of diabetic nephropathy by up to 35%.
American Diabetes Association Targets
- HbA1C less than 7%*
- Pre-meal glucose 90 to 130 mg/dL
- After meal glucose no higher than 180 mg/dL
- LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol above 50 mg/dL for women and 40 mg/dL for men*
- Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL
- Systolic blood pressure below 130 mm Hg*
*These targets made a significant difference in reducing risk of kidney disease in the research study.
Lifestyle changes add up to the most effective actions you can take. These include:
- A healthy diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat meat, poultry, fish and low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
- Balance your carbohydrate intake to help control blood sugar response to eating.
- Eat fish high in omega 3 fatty acids more often and use healthy fats in food preparation, such as olive oil and canola oil. Avoid trans-fats as much as possible.
- Start moving-exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day helps control glucose and blood pressure better.
- Deal with stress; it’s a natural part of life and will always be there but you can change how you think and react to stressful events.
- Be kind to yourself; take time to relax and acknowledge your efforts at taking care of yourself. Smile more often.
- Engage your family for support and their involvement in lifestyle change toward a healthier family.
Remember the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In the case of diabetes and preventing or delaying kidney disease the ounce is worth more than it’s weight in gold!