Diabetic nephropathy impairs the kidneys’ ability to remove waste and extra fluid. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and effectively treating diabetes and hypertension may prevent or delay diabetic nephropathy. It gradually deteriorates the kidneys’ sensitive filtration mechanisms.
Early therapy may slow disease progression and minimise complications. Renal disease may cause kidney failure. The treatment of renal disease includes transplants or dialysis. In this post, we also discuss diabetes prevention.
What causes diabetic nephropathy?
Hypertension contributes to diabetic nephropathy as a complication of diabetes. Hypertension is a cause and result of diabetic nephropathy. As kidney illness progresses, physical abnormalities in the kidneys often cause high blood pressure. Uncontrolled hypertension may accelerate the progression of stage five diabetic nephropathy.
The elevated blood sugar linked with diabetes also damages the kidneys via various complex pathways. Most of this damage affects blood vessels that produce urine.
What are the diabetic nephropathy symptoms?
- Protein in the urine
- Swelling of feet, eyes, ankles, and hands
- Increased urination
- Reduced need for diabetes medicine
- Difficulty concentrating
- Breath shortness
- Appetite loss
- Vomiting and Nausea
- Worsening blood pressure control
How to prevent diabetic nephropathy?
- Diabetes treatment: You can stop or delay diabetic nephropathy with effective diabetes management.
- Manage high blood pressure and other conditions: Work with your doctor to treat high blood pressure and other disorders that raise your risk of renal disease.
- Over-the-counter medication: Follow the directions on the labels of over-the-counter pain medicines, including aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen. These medications may damage diabetic nephropathy patients’ kidneys.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Maintain a healthy weight by being physically active. If you need to lose weight, discuss weight-loss strategies with your doctor, such as increasing your regular physical activity and lowering your calorie consumption.
- Quit smoking: Cigarette smoking may cause and worsen the disease. Consult your doctor about options for stopping smoking if you are a smoker. Support groups, counselling, and some drugs may all assist with quitting.
- Regular diabetes check-ups: Keep annual or regular appointments if your healthcare provider recommends screening for diabetic nephropathy and other complications.
How is early detection of diabetic nephropathy possible?
Periodically, doctors examine your urine for the presence of an albumin protein. Usually, albumin should not be present in urine. A tiny quantity of albumin in the urine indicates early kidney damage.
What are the complications of diabetic nephropathy?
- Fluid retention may cause swelling in the arms and legs, elevated blood pressure, and lung fluid.
- An increase in your blood potassium levels.
- Heart and blood vessel disease may cause a stroke.
- Blood vessels damage the retina’s light-sensitive tissue.
- Less oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
- Foot sores, diarrhoea, erectile dysfunction, and other nerve and blood vessel problems
- Kidney mineral and bone problems cause phosphorus and calcium imbalance in the blood.
- Pregnancy problems that pose dangers to the mother and developing fetus.
- The end-stage renal disease requires a transplant for survival.
There are many ways of diabetes prevention.
- Weight loss: Based on your weight, set a weight-loss goal. Discuss with your doctor short-term goals like losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. In one study, people lowered their risk of diabetes by 60% by decreasing 7% of their body weight through diet and exercise.
- Healthy plant foods: Plants supply vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fibre. Dietary fibre is the part of plant food your body can’t absorb.
- Healthy fats: Consume fatty meals in moderation since they are rich in calories. Unsaturated fats or “good fats” may help you lose and maintain weight, leading to diabetes prevention.
- Avoid fad diets: The glycemic index, paleo, and keto diets may help you lose weight. However, there’s little research on these diets’ long-term impacts or diabetes prevention benefits. Diet goals should include weight loss and weight maintenance. Healthy eating must be a lifelong habit.
What are treatments for diabetic nephropathy?
- Diabetes management: Diabetic nephropathy medications help control high blood sugar. Metformin decreases liver glucose production and enhances insulin sensitivity, and GLP-1 receptor agonists reduce blood sugar via slowing digestion and boosting insulin production. SGLT2 inhibitors reduce glucose’s return to the bloodstream, increasing urine glucose.
- High cholesterol: Cholesterol-lowering medications treat high cholesterol and decrease protein in the urine.
- Scarred kidneys: Finerenone affects molecular activity that causes diabetic nephropathy, inflammation, and scarring. The medicine may reduce the risk of kidney function decrease, kidney failure, and cardiovascular mortality in persons with chronic renal disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Blood pressure management: ACEs and ARBs inhibitors treat hypertension.
Treatment for advanced diabetic nephropathy
- Dialysis: This therapy eliminates blood waste and fluid. Peritoneal and hemodialysis dialysis are the main types of dialysis.
- Transplant: Kidney or kidney-pancreas transplants are sometimes the best options. The doctors examine you for transplantation.
Nephropathy is among the most severe and sometimes fatal consequences of diabetes. However, kidney disease resulting from diabetes is not inevitable. Maintaining good kidney function and avoiding dialysis or a kidney transplant combines healthy habits, monitoring, and medication.