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February 8, 2017 | Nephrology
The organs and tissues in the human body are connected in many ways. In fact, conditions that affect one part of the body can actually be the cause or risk factor of diseases in other parts of the body.
Heart disease can cause varicose veins, a condition of the legs, and diabetes can affect various parts of the body like the feet, eyes and kidneys. Diabetic nephropathy, for example, is a serious form of kidney disease that’s caused directly by diabetes. It’s the kidneys’ job to filter and remove waste the body no longer needs, but diabetic nephropathy stops some of these processes from happening over a period of several years. In many cases, this kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
Many of the best strategies to combat diabetic nephropathy involve preventive lifestyle measures that reduce the risk of diabetes. Taking the right steps early in life can prevent more serious conditions later on.
Diabetic nephropathy is caused by type 1 and 2 diabetes. Diabetes is related to high blood sugar levels, which increase blood pressure. As a result, high blood pressure increases the overall pressure on the kidneys’ filtration system. If they undergo too much pressure, the kidneys stop working correctly. Up to 40 percent of diabetes patients will develop diabetic nephropathy.
Risk factors of diabetic nephropathy include:
Symptoms and Complications
There are several symptoms associated with diabetic nephropathy, but most aren’t present in the early stages. In the later stages, symptoms you might see include:
Diabetic nephropathy can even be the cause of other ailments as well as the result of diabetes. Some common complications include:
Your doctor will perform a basic physical exam and ask about your family history, especially as it relates to diabetes and the kidneys. These are tests often used for diagnosis:
For patients with diabetes, managing the symptoms and making smart lifestyle choices can help prevent diabetic nephropathy. For those who develop diabetic nephropathy, treatment can include:
Diabetic nephropathy is a serious condition and requires medical attention. If you have diabetes, make sure to talk with your doctor about preventing its onset.
“Diabetic Nephropathy – Topic Overview.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/tc/diabetic-nephropathy-topic-overview#1
“Diabetic nephropathy.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-nephropathy/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20212130
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.