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  Diabetes >> Diabetes Complications >> Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic Nephropathy is a complication in which kidneys are damaged due to persistent high blood sugar level in the blood. It’s one of the common causes of kidney failure world wide, especially in adults.

Kidney functions as a filtering machine in a human body by throwing out the waste in the form of urine. It maintains electrolyte balance, blood pH level and regulates blood pressure, and also releases some of the hormones. When the kidneys start damaging, they fail to carry out these functions with proficiency. Protein molecules along with other bodies which are present in the blood, start appearing in the urine. In the initial phase of nephropathy where damage is not too severe, drugs and diet can control the condition. When protein starts leaking in the urine it is called as microalbuminuria, as the condition starts worsening, large amount of protein is thrown in the urine with heavy losses of protein from the body. Few easily noticed symptoms of kidney failure are fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting. It has been observed that about 30 to 40 % of Type I diabetics and 20 to 30 % of Type 2 diabetics, develop moderate to severe kidney failure.

Diabetic Nephropathy can be screened in simple urine test at any diagnostic laboratory. Type 1 diabetic must check nephropathy test in fourth year of diagnosis and Type 2 at the time of diagnosis. It is always better to go for routine tests in the further years. When it shows albuminiuria, modification of diet, regular exercise with some medication for blood pressure control (an ACE inhibitor or angiotension receptor blocker [ARB]) is generally recommended, even if blood pressure is normal. Patients with elevated blood pressures and albuminuria are treated with an ACE inhibitor or ARB. These medications can reduce the percent of protein extraction in the urine and help in slowing down the progression of diabetes, nephropathy and related kidney diseases.

Diabetes myonecrosis may develop before or at the time of diagnosis of diabetes, generally it is a type of gangrene caused by Clostridium bacteria. This bacterium produces toxins, which leads to tissue diabetic mastopathy. It is a condition usually seen in pre-menopausal women suffering from Type 1 diabetes for many years with insulin therapy. Although very rare, it can be seen in men with diabetes as diabetic mastopathy, which is associated with micro-vascular complications such as damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart, or other disorders such as thyroid problem.

Suggestions for preventing Diabetic Nephropathy

  • Maintain blood sugar level within normal range.
  • Control blood pressure with modifying diet, relaxation techniques, and medication.
  • Decrease intake of salt, fast foods, preserved and baked items to maintain blood pressure.
  • Decrease animal protein, simple sugars and animal fats in the diet.
  • Check urine regularly for microalbumin.
  • Take care of bladder or urinary tract infections and treat them early.

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