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Diabetic Nephropathy Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Diet

What Is Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic Nephropathy is a common complication of Diabetes. And the clinical characters can be proteinuria, high blood pressure, swelling and so on. There are 2 types of Diabetes, namely, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, besides, they all can lead to diabetic nephropathy. If not controlled well, it will progress into kidney failure eventually. According to the latest figures, diabetic nephropathy accounts for 35%-38% of kidney failure in the US.

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Causes of Diabetic Nephropathy

Kidneys are consisted of millions of nephrons in the body. Normally, these tiny structures can help purify the blood by excreting wastes, toxins, extra fluid and preserving useful substances.

However, long-term high blood sugar level will cause damage to the functioning units and rapid decline of kidney function. In addition, clinical cases have shown that high blood pressure can lead to the occurrence of diabetic kidney disease. If poorly controlled, these abnormal signs will speed up it’s progression to ESRD.

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What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy

In it’s early stage, there are usually no symptoms. However, without effective treatment, renal function will decline accordingly. In that condition, a range of symptoms may come into being.

High blood pressure

Excess protein in urine

Shortness of breath

Increased body weight due to fluid retention

Poor appetite, nausea and vomiting

Swelling:It can be seen around the eyelids, feet, leg or even the whole body in advanced stage.

Fatigue: It mainly occurs as a consequence of renal anemia

In addition to the above signs, other condition can also occur, such as, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic foot, diabetic neuropathy and so on.

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How Is Diabetic Nephropathy Diagnosed?

In the early stage of diabetic nephropathy, there are usually no obvious symptoms. However, many diabetics do not know their kidneys are involved when it progresses into an advanced stage. Due to this, it is of great importance to do some regular tests to observe how the kidneys are working. And the following tests are commonly used:

Microalbuminuria test: This test is used to detect small amounts of protein in urine, which can not be detected by a routine urine test. When there is albumin in urine, patients should pay attention to the kidneys. Generally, the amount can be 30-300mg/dL per day.

Blood test: By doing so, doctors can learn about the GFR level. In the initial stage of DN, the GFR level is much higher than the normal range. However, in the 4th stage, there will be a sharp decrease in GFR. Meanwhile, you can also know your serum creatinine level.

Other tests: blood pressure, blood sugar, blood lipid and so on.

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Treatment Options for Diabetic Nephropathy

1.Well control of blood sugar This target can be attained by medicines, diet and moderate exercises. In in this way, the progression of DN can be delayed largely.

2.Anti-hypertensive drugs for hypertension Generally, drugs including ACE Inhibitors, ARBs, beta blocker, etc are prescribed by the doctors to lower blood pressure.

3.In ESRD, dialysis or kidney transplantation will be used to expand the survival periods of patients.

4.Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy and Immunotherapy The former therapy is used externally to activate the injured renal cells and improve kidney function from the root cause. What’s more, it can also help remove blood stasis, regulate blood pressure and inhibit inflammatory reaction.

The latter therapy can help regulate the immune system, strengthen the immunity. In addition, with the help of blood-purification technique, triglycerides, cholesterols and other metabolic products can be excreted out of the blood.

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Diet for Diabetic Nephropathy

1.Control the consumption of sugar and fat.

In our daily life, people with this disease should restrict the consumption of sugar and fat strictly, otherwise, high blood sugar level and hyperlipidemia will cause further damage to the kidne

2.Low-protein diet

To decrease the burden of kidneys and prevent further kidney damage, patients should limit the intake of protein strictly. In addition, they can eat some high-quality protein foods like egg white, fish, lean meat, milk, etc to maintain the operation of our body.

3.Limit the intake of salt

Too much sodium will aggravate high blood pressure and swelling, from this point of view, it is necessary to stay away from salted foods, etc.

4.Intake of water

If there is no obvious fluid retention, the intake of water should not be restricted; If there are severe swelling, decreased urine output or high blood pressure, fluid restriction should be performed.

5.Supplement of vitamins

Besides, people with diabetic nephropathy should also eat some fresh fruits and vegetables improve nutrition statues. 6. If the lab test show high potassium or high phosphorus level, the intake of potassium and phosphorus should also be restricted.

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What Is the Prognosis of Diabetic Nephropathy

As the condition varies from individuals to individuals, the prognosis of DN differs too. Long-term high blood sugar level can not only cause damage to the filtering units but also elevate blood pressure and aggravate hardening of arteries.

According to the statics, if there is massive proteinuria(>300mg/dL), most of the patients may die within 6 years(without effective control); however, if the condition is not that serious, some of them can live more than 10 years; during the course, measures should be taken to control blood pressure, otherwise, it will progress into kidney failure eventually.

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