Nephropathy means kidney disease or damage. Diabetic
nephropathy is damage to your kidneys caused by
diabetes. In severe cases it can lead to kidney
failure. But not everyone with diabetes has kidney
Causes Diabetic Nephropathy?
The kidneys have
many tiny blood vessels that filter waste from your
blood. High blood sugar from diabetes can destroy
these blood vessels. Over time, the kidney isn't
able to do its job as well. Later it may stop
working completely. This is called kidney failure.
doctors don't yet understand, only some people with
diabetes get kidney damage. Out of 100 people with
diabetes, as many as 40 will get kidney damage.
things make you more likely to get diabetic
nephropathy. If you also have high blood pressure or
high cholesterol, or if you smoke, your risk is
higher. Also, Native Americans, African Americans,
and Hispanics (especially Mexican Americans) have a
There are no
symptoms in the early stages. So it’s important to
have regular urine tests to find kidney damage
early. Sometimes early kidney damage can be
The first sign of
kidney damage is a small amount of protein in the
urine, which is found by a simple urine test.
damage to the kidneys gets worse, your blood
pressure rises. Your cholesterol and triglyceride
levels rise too. As your kidneys are less able to do
their job, you may notice swelling in your body, at
first in your feet and legs.
Diabetic Nephropathy Diagnosed?
The problem is
diagnosed using simple tests that check for a
protein called albumin in the urine. Urine does not
usually contain protein. But in the early stages of
kidney damage before you have any symptoms some
protein may be found in your urine, because your
kidneys aren't able to filter it out the way they
damage early can keep it from getting worse. So it’s
important for people with diabetes to have regular
If you have
type 1 diabetes, get a urine test every year
after you have had diabetes for 5 years.
If your child
has diabetes, yearly testing should begin at
If you have type 2 diabetes,
start yearly testing at the time you are
diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetic Nephropathy be Prevented?
The best way to prevent kidney damage is to keep
your blood sugar under tight control. You do this by
staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly,
and taking your medicines as directed.
the first sign of protein in your urine, you can
take high blood pressure medicines to keep kidney
damage from getting worse.
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