Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease, accounting for nearly 44% of new cases each year. Coinciding with Diabetes Awareness Month, we were pleased to host an education call on November 3 to discuss the physiology of diabetes in Chronic Kidney Disease patients as well as beneficial lifestyle interventions. Danielle Kirkman, PhD was our guest speaker. She is currently a University of Delaware research fellow, focusing on the benefits of physical activity on vascular health.  Dr. Kirkman discussed the importance of monitoring your blood glucose levels early on to avoid kidney failure. The extreme fluctuations in blood glucose levels puts great strain on your kidneys as well as your cardiovascular system.

In addition to discussing blood glucose monitoring, Dr. Kirkman focused on the need to adjust your diet and include daily exercise to help control any blood glucose fluctuations. Muscle contractions increase the glucose uptake from the blood without the need for insulin. Increasing the amount you exercise improves the quality of your muscles which will reduce insulin resistance. Not only can exercise help lower the frequency you take insulin, it also improves natural insulin release from the pancreas. You can increase your physical activity by participating in aerobic exercises as well as strength training, however make sure to do both safely by consulting a healthcare professional before starting any sort of exercise regimen and properly stretching and warming up before any vigorous workout.

To hear the call in its entirety, click here.