Diabetic Nephropathy or Kidney damage : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Complications & Treatment

Diabetic nephropathy is damage to your kidneys caused by diabetes. In severe cases it can lead to kidney failure. People with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic can be affected by this disease.

Updated: July 24, 2020

Diabetic nephropathy is damage to your kidneys caused by diabetes. In severe cases it can lead to kidney failure. The ability of your kidneys to do their usual work of removing waste products and extra fluid from your body will be deteriorated when affected by diabetic nephropathy. People with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic can be affected by this disease.


By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and treating your diabetes and high blood pressure can help  prevent or delay diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is divided into five stages of deterioration, with the final one being (ESRD) end-stage kidney disease.


Cause of Diabetic Nephropathy:

High blood sugar from diabetes can destroy the tiny blood vessels that filter waste from your blood. Prolonged high blood sugar will affect the proper functioning in the kidneys leading to kidney failure. If you also have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or if you smoke, your risk is higher of developing diabetic nephropathy.

Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy:

Typical symptoms of diabetic nephropathy include:

  •     Swelling of the ankles, feet, lower legs or hands caused by retention of water
  •     Darker urine, caused by blood in the urine
  •     Becoming short of breath, when climbing the stairs for instance
  •     Tiredness as a result of a lack of oxygen in the blood
  •     Nausea or vomiting
  •     Worsening blood pressure control
  •     Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Persistent itching
  •     Fatigue


Diagnosis of Diabetic Nephropathy:

Diabetic nephropathy can be diagnosed by a simple tests that check for a protein called albumin in the urine. Usually urine doesn't contain protein. But in case of diabetic nephropathy as the kidney fails to function properly, the sample of urine will have protein. People with diabetes should be screened for kidney complications once a year to prevent or delay kidney failure.

Complications of Diabetic Nephropathy:

Complications of diabetic nephropathy gradually develops over years. They may include:

  • Fluid retention, which could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • Hyperkalemia, that is  sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood
  • Cardiovascular disease, such as Heart and blood vessel disease leading to stroke
  • Diabetic retinopathy, that is Damage to the blood vessels of the retina
  • Anemia
  • Foot sores, erectile dysfunction, diarrhea and other problems related to damaged nerves and blood vessels
  • Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus
  • Irreversible damage to your kidneys (end-stage kidney disease), eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival


Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy:

Diabetic nephropathy will be easier to treat if caught in the early stages that is microalbuminuria, when a small but abnormal amounts of protein appear in the urine.

The treatment involves:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
  • Maintaining blood glucose levels (average hemoglobin A1C that is HbA1C of less than 7 percent should be maintained)
  • Lowering cholesterol level
  • Maintaining proper blood pressure( blood pressure reading of 140/90 millimeters of    mercury (mm Hg) or less should be maintained)
  • If it is macroalbuminuria, that is your urine contains larger amounts of protein ,the damage to your kidney may progress to kidney failure. This is called end stage renal disease (ESRD) which requires the need for regular blood-cleansing treatments (dialysis) or a kidney transplant to survive.


Related Articles

Dental Implants: Reason for Replacement, Types, Benifits and Tips for Oral Care

Dental Implants: Reason for Replacement, Types, Benifits and Tips for Oral Care

Implants are devices that replace the roots of missing teeth. A dental implant is a titanium post like a tooth root that is surgically positioned into the jawbone under the gum line. They are used to support crowns, bridges or dentures.

Colon cancer: Symptoms and signs, Causes and Risk factor, Diagnosis, Staging and Prevention

Colon cancer: Symptoms and signs, Causes and Risk factor, Diagnosis, Staging and Prevention

Colon cancer is cancer of the colon or large intestine which begin as small, noncancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps.

Causes and Home Remedies of Cold During Pregnancy

Causes and Home Remedies of Cold During Pregnancy

Having cold or a cough is as normal during pregnancy but the main problem is that you can not take any medicine to get relief from cold and cough during pregnancy.

Constipation: Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment

Constipation: Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment

Constipation generally occurs when stools remain in the colon or large intestine for too long, and the colon absorbs too much water from the stools, causing them to become hard and dry.

Treatment of Endometriosis

Treatment of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus. The tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus, grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the ti

Treatment for Systemic Lupus

Treatment for Systemic Lupus

The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent damage of organs by decreasing inflammation and the level of autoimmune activity in the body.

Management of PCOD/PCOS Naturally

Management of PCOD/PCOS Naturally

Polycystic Ovarian Disease or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is becoming a common condition amongst the women of reproductive age. This condition is usually caused due to hormonal imblance and lifestyle. Being overweight or obese has been dire

 Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Mostly diabetes in children are of Type 1. Type 1 Diabetese is an autoimmune disease in which your child's body no longer produces insulin or may produce insufficient amount of insulin.

Suppliers Across World


Browse suppliers across the globe including Greece, Palestine, Uganda, Serbia, Panama, Syria, Tajikistan, Ghana, Brunei, Isle of Man, French Guiana, Wales, Spain, Barbados, Guernsey, Tanzania, Namibia, Egypt, Saint Kitts and Nevis, El Salvador, Morocco, Switzerland, Japan, Austria, Zambia, Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Pitcairn, Estonia, Malaysia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Western Sahara, Philippines, Comoros, Montserrat, Canada, Germany, Mali, Mauritania, Venezuela, Cook Islands, Israel, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Andorra, Palau, Equatorial Guinea, Belarus and other localities of World as well..