There are currently more than 50, 000 people in Germany who have to undergo intensive renal replacement therapy (dialysis) in order to survive. However, dialysis treatment can only partially take over the complex function of the kidneys. In addition to the time required (three to four hours a week in a clinic or a dialysis center on a dialysis machine or four times a day dialysis sessions home in peritoneal dialysis), the patient must follow a strict diet and drink only very limited liquids.
Chronic renal failure and diabetes mellitus
The most important cause of chronic kidney failure is diabetes mellitus. There are about four million diabetics in Germany and an estimated two million people with diabetes who have not yet been diagnosed. Persistent high blood sugar can seriously damage the kidneys over time. In addition, patients with diabetes and diabetes suffer disproportionately from high blood pressure (arterial hypertension), which may also cause poor renal function over years or may not be treated at all. A simple test, checking the urine for protein, indicates an early impairment of the kidneys by the two diseases. The protein excretion in the urine should therefore be checked regularly.
Silent danger: hypertension
Hypertension also plays a very important role in most other kidney diseases. Many patients do not even know about their hypertension. It is similar with diabetes, here too the disease is often unknown. Therefore, the special importance of regular blood pressure measurements and increased values of an automatic 24-hour-blueprint measurement for the recording of nocturnal and early morning blood pressure peaks should be noted.
In addition to non-medical measures such as weight loss, regular endurance sports, reduction of alcohol consumption and abstinence from nicotine, it is precisely in diabetics on the right choice of high-pressure medication; then the occurrence of damage to the kidneys or their progression can be prevented. Timely detection and optimal treatment of diabetes, and in particular of arterial hypertension, can thus avoid much patient suffering and high costs for society.