All You Need to Know About Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy is a condition that develops in the kidneys due to diabetes. It occurs when we have excessive amounts of glucose in our blood, which harms the kidneys. This condition almost always causes kidney failure. Diabetic nephropathy affects around one- third of people with diabetes.

Signs that indicate diabetic nephropathy
Early cases of diabetic nephropathy may have no symptoms. However, symptoms may appear when kidney function deteriorates. They include:
● Inflammation in the body, particularly in the face, legs, and hands
● Lack of appetite
● Nausea
● Shortness of breath
● Drowsiness
● Irregular cardiac rhythm because of increased blood potassium level
● Twitching of muscles
● Darker urine (blood in the urine)
● Heart disease

Causes of diabetic nephropathy
High blood pressure, one reason for diabetes, also causes diabetic kidney disease. Elevated blood pressure is often a side effect of renal disease as it advances due to physical abnormalities in the kidneys. It is believed that hypertension results from the damage caused by the illness and the aetiology of diabetic nephropathy. Stage five or end-stage diabetic kidney disease may develop more quickly in those with uncontrolled hypertension.

In addition to harming the kidney, high blood sugar levels also affect the other body parts in various ways. The arteries that filter blood to produce urine are harmed the most.

Risk factors involved in diabetic nephropathy
We must check various reasons for diabetes because, if unchecked, it can lead to diabetic nephropathy. Here are some risk factors involved in diabetic nephropathy:
● Uncontrolled blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)
● Continually elevated blood pressure (hypertension)
● Consuming tobacco
● High cholesterol levels
● Obesity
● A history of diabetes and renal disease in the family

Stages of diabetic nephropathy
Based on GFR (glomerular filtration rate), which indicates the proportion of functional kidneys, a clinician may decide the phases of renal disease or diabetic nephropathy. Here are the five stages of diabetic nephropathy:
Stage 1: Kidney damage is apparent, although there is normal renal function and the GFR is 90% or more.
Stage 2: GFR is between 60 and 89%, and there is kidney impairment.
Stage 3: GFR is between 30 and 59%, with moderate to severe loss of function.
Stage 4: Extremely reduced function with a GFR of 15 to 29%.
Stage 5: Renal failure with a GFR below 15%.

Preventing diabetic nephropathy
Regular checkups: Maintain yearly or more regular checkups depending on suggestions from your medical team. Regularly screen for problems such as diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy and other critical illnesses to control the reason for diabetes and diabetes related conditions.
Get diabetic treatment: Diabetic nephropathy may be avoided or delayed with adequate diabetes management.
Manage blood pressure: Seek medical help to manage illnesses like hypertension or other factors that raise the risk of renal disease. Also, ask the doctor before taking OTC drugs. Aspirin and NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen, which don’t need a prescription, should be used as directed on the label. The use of these kinds of painkillers may cause kidney damage in persons with diabetic nephropathy.
Maintain a healthy weight: Aim to maintain a healthy weight by being active most of the day. If overweight, discuss weight-loss techniques with your doctor, such as increasing regular physical activity and reducing calories consumption.
Quit smoking: The chemicals in cigarettes cause insulin resistance in cells, making it one of the prominent reasons for diabetes among unhealthy individuals with prediabetes. Smoking cigarettes may harm your kidneys and exacerbate existing kidney problems. If you smoke, discuss smoking cessation methods with your doctor. One can quit using tobacco with support groups, therapy, and certain drugs.

Diet modifications
Your doctor may monitor the following nutrients if you have a renal disease:
Water: While it is necessary, drinking too much water or other fluids might raise your risk of oedema and high blood pressure.
Sodium: As a component of salt, this substance may cause blood pressure to rise.
Protein: For someone with a renal illness, protein may lead to a buildup of waste in the blood, which puts additional stress on the kidneys.
Phosphorus: Dairy and protein-rich diets contain this mineral. A phosphorus overload may damage bones and strain the kidneys.
Potassium: High amounts of potassium, which may harm nerve cells, can occur in people with renal disease.

Early intervention may stop or halt the course of the illness and lower the likelihood of all- around consequences. Maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle is especially important for diabetes patients. Cholesterol and blood pressure are two additional issues that must be regularly monitored and managed as a doctor instructs. Regular checks for healthy kidney function should be made in diabetic patients using long-term medicines. It is best to quit smoking and drinking alcohol since they worsen the illness. Kidney failure may be avoided by treating nephropathy.


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