What is Diabetic Kidney Disease, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

What is Diabetic Kidney Disease, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

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What is Diabetic Kidney Disease, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Diabetic Kidney Disease is a serious kidney-related disorder of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. As per the reports, about 25% of people with diabetes eventually develop kidney disease. According to the doctors of Nephrology Hospital in Hyderabad, Diabetic nephropathy affects your kidneys’ ability to do their usual work of removing waste products and extra fluid from your body. And, the best way to prevent diabetic kidney disease is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and treating your diabetes and high blood pressure. If not taken care, over the years, the condition slowly damages your kidneys’ delicate filtering system. And, your kidney disease may progress to kidney failure, also called end-stage kidney disease.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Kidney Disease?

In the early stages of diabetic nephropathy, signs or symptoms may not be noticed. You may find the signs and symptoms include worsening or weakening of blood pressure control, protein in the urine, swelling of different parts such as ankles, hands or eyes and increased need to urinate. There are a few more Diabetic kidney disease symptoms such as reduced need for insulin or diabetes medicine, difficulty in concentrating and shortness of breath. Also, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, persistent itching and fatigue.

Causes of Diabetic Kidney Disease

As mentioned above, Diabetic Kidney Disease or Diabetic Nephropathy is a common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It occurs when diabetes damages blood vessels and other cells in your kidneys. This happens because poorly controlled diabetes can cause severe damage to blood vessel clusters in your kidneys that eliminates waste from your blood. This can lead to kidney damage and cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to further kidney damage. This is done by increasing the pressure in the filtering system of the kidneys.

What Does Diabetes do to the Kidneys?

What Does Diabetes do to the Kidneys

Due to the diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. If the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys become incapable of cleaning your blood properly. Therefore, your body will retain more water and salt than it should, and this can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. There might be protein in your urine and also waste materials will build up in your blood.

Diabetes also causes damage to the nerves in your body. This can result in difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure generating from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. If urine is present in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.

Risk factors of Diabetic Kidney Disease

The risk for diabetic kidney disease is greater if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. There are several other factors that may increase your risk of diabetic nephropathy, including high blood pressure (hypertension) that’s not controlled, smoking, high blood cholesterol and a family history of diabetes and kidney disease.

Is Diabetic Kidney Disease Fatal?

Diabetic nephropathy leads to a long-term kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In this medical condition, the kidneys no longer work well enough to meet the needs of daily life. It can lead to kidney failure with potentially life-threatening consequences.

The other complications of diabetic nephropathy may develop gradually over months or years. They may include:-

  • Fluid retention which causes swelling in your arms and legs. Also, high blood pressure or fluid in your lungs.
  • An increase in potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia)
  • Heart and blood vessel disease possibly leading to stroke
  • Damage to the blood vessels of the retina
  • Erectile dysfunction, diarrhea and other problems related to damaged nerves and blood vessels
  • Severe pregnancy complications related to risks for the mother and the developing foetus

Prevention and Diabetic Kidney Disease Treatment

With effective treatment of diabetes it is possible to prevent or delay diabetic kidney disease. It can be prevented and treated using the follow methods.

      • You must control high blood pressure – In case, if you have high blood pressure or other conditions that increase your risk of kidney disease, you must work with your doctor to control them. You can ask your doctor about tests to look for signs of kidney damage.
      • You must follow instructions on over-the-counter medications – If you are taking nonprescription pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, you need to follow the instructions on the package. For people suffering with diabetic kidney disease, consuming these types of pain relievers can lead to kidney damage.
      • You must maintain a healthy weight – If you are not healthy, it is important to work to maintain it by being physically active during most days of the week. To lose weight, you may talk with your doctor about weight-loss strategies. These strategies may include increasing daily physical activity and reducing calories. Try to avoid foods that cause kidney stones.


    • You must quit smoking – Smoking can damage your kidneys. And, it can make existing kidney damage worse. If you smoke daily, you must talk to your doctor about the right strategies for quitting smoking.

If the case of diabetic nephropathy advances to ESRD, a patient will essentially need either dialysis or a kidney transplant. In fact, in certain conditions, they will usually need dialysis for the rest of their life or until a kidney transplant is available.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of diabetic kidney disease, you must consult a suitable medical professional for the proper medical help.

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