Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Failure

Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Failure

Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Failure seem to go together. Like salt and pepper, the dreadful diseases’ have a popular alliance.

My recent research with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, a division of UNOS, tells the story of a failed system when it comes to treating diabetes and a medical system unable to curb Kidney Failure as a result.

As of June, 2015, there are 109,363 people on the U.S. Waiting List waiting for a Kidney. 19,528 of these ill people live in California, though nearly every state in the nation has some representation. The staggering fact is the number one diagnosis leading to kidney disease. Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Failure Nationwide, 30,916 have Type 2 diabetes, which is the condition that got them to the Waiting List with kidney failure.

The next closest diagnosis is Hypertensive Nephrosclerosis Damage to the kidney from high blood pressure), but this condition represents 25% fewer cases than Diabetes (22,966). What are we going to do about Type 2 Diabetes? Diet and exercise doesn’t seem to work, which indicates this medical condition isn’t just going away.

A recent study published in the medical journal JAMA, tells of a small controlled group (61) of obese patients with diabetes who were studied for three years. Some were given either an intensive diet and exercise program and the others underwent surgery of either a gastric bypass or a gastric band.

At the end of the study, 40% of those with the bypass surgery were considered in diabetic remission.  29% of the group who received the Gastric Band  were also in remission.  Neither of these two, successful groups needed any further medication. The individuals from the lifestyle program had nowhere near the same results. In fact, not one person was considered to be in remission from Type 2 Diabetes with diet and exercise or an intensive lifestyle program.

The tests were conducted by Dr. Anita Courcoulas, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. To further study these findings, she is collaborating with doctors  from The Cleveland Clinic, Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston and researchers at the University of Washington to conduct more testing over a seven year period. Is she on to something?

We hope so because the Waiting List for Kidney Transplants is growing each year. Currently, there are 14 people who die each day waiting for a transplant.

Is surgery right for you? Check with your doctor if you have type 2 diabetes and ask.

Checking the American Diabetes Association , they list surgery as an option for those with a BMI over 35, but they also indicate there is insufficient evidence of benefits for those with less BMI. Dr. Courcoulas says, “why bariatric surgery seems to clear up diabetes is not known.” Some doctors believe that reducing the stomach size may be the key.  Perhaps changing the various hormones due to bypassing a portion of the intestine is the answer.