Diabetic Nephropathy: Signs and Treatment. What You Should Ask your Doctor!
Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most common complications that individuals who are diabetic experience. In nephropathy the kidneys tend to get damaged and in some extreme cases it can also lead to total kidney damage. However it is important to know that not all diabetic patients suffer from this condition. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients are at risk of getting this disease.
Kidneys perform the task of filtering and removing waste from blood and this task is done by the tiny blood vessels that are present in this vital organ. High levels of blood sugar will cause damage to these blood vessels and this will greatly hamper the ability of the kidney to filter the waste leading to kidney failure.
There are various factors that increase the risk of diabetic nephropathy and these include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking all increases the risk of this disease.
Most people are unaware that they suffer from this condition as there are usually no early symptoms of this disease.
- There is usually a small amount of protein found in the urine and this can be detected by conducting some simple tests.
- Increase in blood pressure is one of the most common symptoms in the advanced stage of this disease. As the kidney does not function properly it can also increase cholesterol.
- Swelling in the feet and legs is a common sign.
The treatment process would involve lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol to normal levels. This will help the kidneys perform in a normal way and prevent any kind of damage. There are various medications that your doctor may prescribe to lower the blood pressure and cholesterol and these should be taken as per the guidance of the doctor.
Apart from medication you will also need to make some simple changes to your diet to help prevent this disease. You must limit your intake of protein and salt. If you smoke, it is advisable to give up the habit to help reduce the risk. If you are unable to give up the habit, you should at least try and limit the number of cigarettes. You should also limit the use of other tobacco products.
Individuals who are diabetic will need to undergo regular tests to help detect kidney damage in the early stages. Diabetic nephropathy can definitely be prevented and treated if you are aware of the causes and symptoms.