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Diabetic Kidney Damage May Be Reversible

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. Until recently, it was thought that once a diabetic leaks protein into his urine, the kidneys are damaged and can never heal. However, kidneys damaged by diabetes have healed after high blood pressure has returned to normal and after pancreatic transplants. Blood pressure medications called Ace inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers have also healed diabetes-damaged kidneys.

The kidney is supposed to allow urine, but not protein, to pass through its filters. Doctors used to tell diabetics that since damaged kidneys never heal, they could never take metformin, an important drug for treating diabetes. Now all diabetics should be told to get their diabetes under control by avoiding refined carbohydrate (added sugar and flour), losing weight, exercising, stopping smoking, and getting their HBA1C blood tests to normal. If their kidneys stop spilling protein, they may be able to take metformin again.

1) Remission and regression of diabetic nephropathy. Hypertension Research, 2003, Vol 26, Iss 7, pp 515-519. H Makino, Y Nakamura, J Wada. Makino H, Okayama Univ, Grad Sch Med & Dent, Dept Med & Clin Sci, 2-5-1 Shikata Cho, Okayama 7008558, JAPAN.

2) Regression of albuminuria: latest evidence for a new approach. Journal of Hypertension, 2003, Vol 21, Suppl. 3, pp S24-S28. G Viberti. Guys Kings & St Thomas Sch Med, Dept Diabet Endocrinol & Internal Med, Sch Med, London SE1 9RT, ENGLAND

Checked 2/23/17

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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