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Why we must tackle diabetic kidney disease

Diabetic kidney disease patient and health campaigner Sarah Green is encouraged and excited by this research breakthrough.

“It’s amazing to think that, in the future, scientists may be able to prevent or at least slow down the progress of the many problems caused by diabetic kidney disease,” says Sarah.

“Studies like this are essential because the reality of living with advanced diabetes and kidney disease can be stark. Treatments for one condition are often incompatible with the other and then problems can begin to snowball.”

Sarah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, shortly after her mum had received the same diagnosis. But her blood sugar levels remained uncontrolled for nine years until it was finally discovered that she was resistant to insulin.

“My kidney function wasn’t monitored on a regular basis, even though protein had been found in my urine as a teenager, which can indicate potential kidney damage.

“I had no idea that my diabetes had damaged my kidneys. I only found out there was a problem after a visit to my GP. I thought I had a water infection but I discovered I had stage three chronic kidney disease (CKD).

“We need to catch people much earlier and be aware of warning signs before their diabetes can cause any kidney damage.” Sarah offers emotional and practical support to young kidney patients in and around Manchester and also helps to run a Facebook support group for young adults with kidney disease.

Sarah Green

“I’m at a stage now where my health problems will only become more complex and difficult to manage as time goes by,” says Sarah.

I don’t want this to happen to anyone else – that’s why it’s vital that we make people aware of the link between diabetes and kidney disease and identify who is at risk so we can then start to introduce preventative treatments.

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