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Tackling multiple health conditions for holistic wellbeing – Kidney Research UK

Investigating whether changes in gut bacteria can cause kidney disease in people with diabetes

DKD is the most common cause of kidney failure in the western world, but we still don’t fully understand why it develops and progresses. It is vital that we learn more about this so that we can both identify which people with diabetes are most at risk of kidney disease so that measures can be taken to prevent it and develop new drugs to treat it.  

Recent studies have shown that the gut microbiome is linked to the development of DKD. Certain types of bacteria have been found in people with DKD, which are not found in people without DKD. However, these studies have not been able to show whether these changes in the gut microbiome are a cause or a result of DKD. With our funding, Dr Kaitlin Wade from the University of Bristol and Dr Abigail Lay from the University of Manchester have recruited a PhD student to study whether, and how, changes in the gut microbiome are causing DKD, or whether it is purely a marker of disease. This research has the potential to highlight if, and how, gut bacteria can be either measured or modified for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diabetic kidney disease.