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Diabetic Nephropathy


What is Diabetic Nephropathy?

What causes Diabetic Nephropathy?

What are the symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy?

How is the diagnosis of Diabetic Nephropathy?

What are the treatment for Diabetic Nephropathy?

What is the prognosis of Diabetic Nephropathy?


What is Diabetic Nephropathy?

Diabetic Nephropathy is a type of progressive kidney disease that occurs in people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Nephropathy is one of the most important complication of diabetes patients. And the incidence rate is on the rise in our country and at present diabetic nephropathy has become the second cause of end stage renal disease. Due to its complex metabolic disorder, once it develops to end stage renal disease, the treatment for diabetic nephropathy is more thornier than other kidney disease. Therefore, timely prevention is of great importance to delay progression of diabetic nephropathy.

What causes Diabetic Nephropathy?

We know each of your kidney has about one million nephrons. Nephrons are small structures which filter wastes out of your body. However, when people have diabetes, diabetes can cause nephrons to thicken and scar, which makes them unable to filter wastes and remove fluid from the body. This leads to the protein called albumin into urine, causing diabetic nephropathy.

What’s more, high blood sugar level and high blood pressure also contributes to Diabetic Nephropathy. Persistently high blood sugar level and high blood pressure can do damages on your kidneys, which make them unable to filter wastes and remove excess water from your body.

Other factors can increase the risk of getting Diabetic Nephropathy, such as

1. Being African-American, Hispanic, or American Indian

2. Suffering from type 1 diabetes before you are 20 years old

3. Smoking

What are the symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy?

In the early stage of Diabetic Nephropathy, kidney damage are often unnoticeable, and patients may have no obvious symptoms until kidney disease progresses to end stage renal disease.

The common symptoms may include:

1. Fatigue

2. Loss of appetite

3. Headache

4. Itchy and dry skin

5. Nausea or vomiting

6. Edema in eyelids, face, hands, legs and ankles

7. Uncomfortable

How is the diagnosis of Diabetic Nephropathy?

Blood and urine tests are used on you to check for early signs of kidney damage. The common tests include:

1. Microalbuminuria Urine Test

This test aims to check whether there is albumin in your urine. In normal case, there is no albumin in urine, so the presence of protein in your urine is a sign of kidney damage.

2. Blood Urea Nitrogen Test

It is used to check for urea nitrogen in your blood. In healthy people, urea nitrogen can be removed out of your body and leave body through urine. Once kidney function is damaged, urea nitrogen can be excreted out of your body, causing accumulation urea nitrogen in your blood. Therefore, higher than normal levels of urea nitrogen in your blood may be a sign of kidney failure.

3. Serum Creatinine Blood Test

This test measures creatinine levels in your blood. Just as the above urea nitrogen, high creatinine levels in your blood may mean that your kidneys are not functioning properly.

4. Kidney biopsy

If the common tests can not make your doctor identify you have Diabetic Nephropathy surely, your doctor may recommend you a kidney biopsy. Kidney biopsy test is an accurate test for diagnosing kidney disease.

What are the treatments for Diabetic Nephropathy?

There is no cure for diabetic nephropathy, but treatment can delay or stop the progression of the disease. The treatments include:


Your doctor may prescribe you some medications to control high blood sugar and high blood pressure. The proper dosages of insulin are used to keep blood sugar levels under control. Medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers(ARBs) or other blood pressure medications help keep blood pressure levels down.

A healthy diet

A healthy diet is important in patients’ life,and patients should have a special diet which is easy on their kidneys. In this case, Diabetic Nephropathy patients should follow a low fat, low sodium, low potassium, low phosphorus, low protein diet. What is more, certain exercise contributes to helping you keep your blood pressure low and your kidney healthy.

End stage renal disease Treatment

In end stage renal disease treatment, dialysis or kidney transplant is given high priority by most people. However, dialysis or kidney transplant may not cure the kidney disease fundamentally. For this, Diabetic

Nephropathy patients can have a try of immunotherapy. With immunotherapy, immune clearance is applied to clear away toxins and wastes such as urea nitrogen and creatinine and lighten the burden of your kidneys. Besides, immune regulation is designed to correct immune dysregulation and control symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy by rebuilding kidney structure.

Blood purification

Blood purification is used to remove the toxins and harmful substances from the body. It can remove various toxins and wastes from body completely such as micromolecular, middle-molecular and macromolecular waste products and immune complexes.

What is the prognosis of Diabetic Nephropathy?

1. Prompt diagnosis: Diabetic Nephropathy in early stage is easy to be under control easily. Compared with advanced diabetic nephropathy, prompt diagnosis is important for diabetic nephropathy patients.

2. Tight control of all the symptoms

Though some symptoms such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar, they will in turn aggravate illness conditions. Therefore, tight control of all the symptoms is good for a better prognosis of diabetic nephropathy.

3. Right treatment of diabetic nephropathy

In some countries, diabetic nephropathy is treated by your doctor prescribing some medicine to control the symptoms such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Though the symptoms can be under control, it is not all that we can do. To deter diabetic nephropathy from developing, you still need to protect residual kidney function and meanwhile repair injured kidney intrinsic cells. In this case, you can try immunotherapy and blood purification method.

A comprehensive knowledge covers the causes, symptoms, treatment, diagnosis, prognosis and diet of Diabetic Nephropathy. And we hope they are helpful for you.


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