Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy
What is Diabetic Nephropathy?
Diabetic nephropathy occurs as a result of long-term diabetes. It mainly damages the normal filtering capabilities of the kidney. Diabetes impairs normal kidney function. This phenomenon triggers the accumulation of waste materials and fluids in the body.
Is Diabetic Nephropathy dangerous?
Yes, diabetic nephropathy is extremely dangerous and the advanced stage of this medical condition can be life-threatening. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage not only the kidneys but also the cardiovascular system. Its end-stage is diabetic nephropathy which can lead to kidney failure along with kidney damage.
How common is Diabetic Nephropathy?
Diabetic nephropathy is quite common and affects approximately 25 to 45% of diabetic patients under the age of 30. The risk of diabetic nephropathy is increasing at an alarming rate and by the year 2035, this chronic condition will affect more than 350 million people worldwide.
What are the different symptoms and signs of Diabetic Nephropathy?
The various signs and symptoms of diabetic nephropathy are given below -
The following are its main indications:
Sudden change in blood pressure
Swelling of the limbs
Presence of protein in the urine
Its main symptoms are the following:
Loss of appetite
Lack of urine
What are the causes of Diabetic Nephropathy?
Diabetic nephropathy occurs as a result of long-term diabetes. Blood pressure increases as the level of sugar in the blood increases. This raised blood pressure damages the small blood vessels or glomeruli of the kidney. Loss in the filtering abilities of the kidneys can lead to some dangerous complications, including kidney failure.
What are the risk factors for Diabetic Nephropathy?
There are many factors that can increase the risk of diabetic nephropathy by impairing the normal filtering abilities of the kidney and those factors are mentioned below:
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Smoking habit even after having diabetes
High cholesterol level
Genetic i.e. diabetes and any type of kidney disease in the family
What are the different complications of Diabetic Nephropathy?
Various complications of diabetic nephropathy persist for a long time and those complications are given below:
Fluid retention and edema in the arms, legs, and lungs
Sudden onset of hyperkalemia
Cardiovascular diseases may cause stroke
Diabetic retinopathy or damage to the retina
Diabetic nephropathy during pregnancy can lead to many complications
How is Diabetic Nephropathy diagnosed?
Diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy is done with the help of these measures:
Urine analysis is done to detect the presence of any abnormalities in the kidney.
Blood tests are done to detect the presence of creatinine and urea nitrogen in the blood. These tests can assess the normal functioning of the kidney.
Various imaging studies including kidney X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasound tests are done to detect any kind of kidney damage.
A kidney biopsy is performed to confirm the presence of diabetic nephropathy.
A renal function test is done to find out the normal filtering capabilities of the kidney.
How is Diabetic Nephropathy treated?
Diabetic nephropathy can be effectively treated at an early stage. The details of how it is treated are given below:
Medicines used to control high blood pressure, including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), are used to control the risks of diabetic nephropathy.
Various medications are used to control high blood sugar levels.
Statins are used to control increased cholesterol levels in the blood.
Medications that control the level of albumin in the urine are also included in its treatment.
In the late stage of diabetic nephropathy, it can be managed only with the help of kidney dialysis (removal of toxic substances and excess fluid from the blood) and kidney transplant (kidney transplant is the best option to deal with the end stage of diabetic nephropathy).
How is Diabetic Nephropathy prevented?
You can effectively prevent the onset of diabetic nephropathy by taking the following preventive measures:
Manage and control various medical conditions including hypertension as it can increase the risk of diabetic nephropathy.
Control your body weight and avoid obesity. Keeping fit is the best way to avoid diabetes as well as diabetic nephropathy.
Stop smoking. Smoking damages your kidneys and makes existing kidney problems worse.
Can Diabetic Nephropathy be cured?
Kidney damage cannot be cured and hence diabetic nephropathy is not curable. Diagnosing and treating diabetic nephropathy in its early stages is the only way to keep its severity under control.
Can Diabetic Nephropathy cause hypertension?
Yes, diabetic nephropathy and hypertension are related and hypertension is often seen in a person due to diabetic nephropathy. The expansion of the blood volume as a result of sodium reabsorption of the kidneys due to the increase in diabetes causes the normal blood pressure to increase several times. Disruption of peripheral vasoconstriction resulting from diabetes also increases the risk of hypertension.
What are the natural remedies for Diabetic Nephropathy?
Diabetic nephropathy can be managed to some extent with the help of these natural remedies:
Astragalus (reduces kidney inflammation)
Winter melon (reduces oxidative stress on skin cells)
Cabbage (reduces oxidative stress on kidney cells)
Green tea (reduces the chances of kidney damage resulting from diabetes)
Cinnamon oil (helps to control high blood sugar levels)
Ginkgo Biloba (reduces kidney damage in the early stages of diabetes)
We have given you all the information related to the treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy
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