Gout drug may lessen diabetes kidney damageBy
The use of a gout drug could help people living with diabetes avoid kidney problems. Allopurinol is the generic name of a drug used to treat gout. When high levels of uric acid gather in the body, gout is the result.
Several research groups have formed PERL or “Preventing Early Renal Function Loss in Diabetes.” They will study the effects of allopurinol on people with type 1 diabetes. The three-year study will test if the uric-acid cutting drug will also lower kidney damage.
New regimens have been introduced over the past 20 years. Blood sugar and blood pressure controlling drugs have not decreased the number of ESRD cases or end-stage renal disease.
Kidneys are made up of millions of small blood vessels. The vessels act as filters cleaning waste products from the blood. Diabetes can cause this filtering system to break down leading to kidney failure.
Consistently higher blood sugar levels make the kidneys filter too much blood. Over time, the filters start to leak and protein leaks into the urine. A person with ESRD would need a kidney transplant or start blood-filtering treatments using a dialysis machine for survival.
Allopurinol lowers the uric acid that causes gout. PERL researchers also hope uric acid reduction will protect kidneys when diabetes is present. The drug is on the market under the brand names Aloprim,Lopurin and Zyloprim.
The study will use subjects with type 1 diabetes, but it is hoped that one day the drug also could help those with type 2 diabetes.
For more on the study and kidney damage: