Diabetic kidney disease also known as ‘diabetic nephropathy’ is one of the most common yet severe complications of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) says diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. It says about 1 out of 4 adults with diabetes has kidney disease. Diabetic nephropathy affects the kidney’s ability of filtering waste from the blood.
Diabetic nephropathy comes as a result of prolonged high blood sugar levels which will overtime cause damage to blood vessel clusters in the kidneys. This leads to high blood pressure and further damage to the kidneys.
In the worst-case scenario, the kidneys might end up failing completely. Fortunately, you can prevent or delay it by living a healthy lifestyle as well as monitoring your blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Factors like family history of kidney disease, heart problems, smoking, overweight and poor diet choices can all put someone at risk of developing diabetes nephropathy.
Signs and symptoms of diabetic nephropathy may include:
* Muscle cramps
* Nausea and vomiting
* Swelling in your feet and ankles
* Too much urine or not enough urine
* Trouble catching your breath
* Trouble sleeping
* Loss of appetite
If you have diabetes and you notice one or more of these signs and symptoms its best to visit a doctor. A Healthline article explains kidney failure in stages where they say stage 1 is the mildest stage and kidney functionality can be restored with treatment whereas stage 5 is the most severe form of kidney failure. At stage 5 the kidney will no longer be functional and one may need to have dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Diabetic nephropathy can be delayed or prevented by effective diabetes and blood pressure management. Maintaining a normal body weight through physical activity is also very important. Avoiding cigarette smoking immensely helps to prevent damage to the kidneys.