A recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that obesity might negatively affect kidney function in people with Type 2 diabetes, especially in women.

According to Dr. Michael Lemay, an endocrinologist with Hartford Healthcare Medical Group, “Obesity often coexists with other medical conditions like hypertension and elevated glucose levels. Both have deleterious effects on kidney function which might eventually lead to the need for dialysis.”

The people who have uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and obesity run towards complications with their body, he said, including:

  • Neuropathy.
  • Loss of vision.
  • Increased risk of amputations.
  • Kidney dysfunction leading to dialysis.

Diabetic nephropathy – damage to kidneys in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes – is the cause of high blood sugar and blood pressure. The kidneys normally filter blood to remove waste products and extra fluid, but with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys do not work right. Waste builds up in the bloodstream causing sickness.

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be silent for many years. That is why Dr. Lemay is so eager to help patients make lifestyle modifications to help slow or stop kidney damage.

”There are many lifestyle modifications that can help slow or stop kidney disease,” he said. “Low sodium diet and regular physical activity can help to control blood pressure. Physical activity along with improved diet and appropriate medications can help to improve diabetes control.

“Weight loss and management in Type 2 diabetes might not only improve control but also have the potential to put the Type 2 diabetes into remission.”

Dr. Lemay advises patients with diabetes, especially women, to have their serum creatinine level checked at every visit in addition to a yearly urine test that evaluates for microalbumin, which reveals early signs of kidney damage in those at risk of developing kidney disease.