Diabetic Nephropathy refers to kidney damage due to Diabetes, which is one of leading causes of Kidney Failure. So, early detection and treatment of diabetic nephropathy is very important for the patients.
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- Causes of diabetic nephropathy
Nephron is the small unit of kidney, which is used to filter wastes from our body. However, high blood sugar can damage these nephrons over time and make them thick and scarred. As a result, a large amount of proteins leak into urine, leading to Proteinuria. Later, kidneys stop working completely. This is called Kidney Failure. It is reported that about 40% of people with diabetes will develop kidney damage in varying degrees.
- Diagnosis way of diabetic nephropathy
Diabetic Nephropathy often starts and develops asymptomatically and slowly. Kidney damage begins 5 to 10 years before symptoms start. The problem is diagnosed using simple tests that check for a protein called albumin in the urine. In early stages of kidney damage, some protein may be found in your urine even you have no symptoms. Therefore, to find kidney damage early, it is important for people with diabetes to take regular testing.
1. In type 1 diabetes, a urine test should be performed every year after you have had diabetes for 5 years.
2. For children with diabetes, yearly testing should begin when the child is 10 years old and has had diabetes for 5 years.
3. In type 2 diabetes, starting yearly testing once you are diagnosed with diabetes.
- Symptoms of diabetic nephropathy
There are no symptoms in the early stages. As the condition develops, more proteins will leak into urine, causing proteinuria, foamy urine. Also as your kidneys are less able to do their job, swelling can be noticed in some body parts like feet and legs. High Blood Pressure, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels appear.
- Treatment of diabetic nephropathy
1. Diet: Proteins can increase how hard the kidneys must work. A low protein diet can decrease protein loss in the urine and increase levels of proteins in the blood. Also, foods high in salt and fats should be limited.
2. Medications: ACE inhibitors are commonly suggested to people with diabetes and they can slow kidney disease progression except for lowering blood pressure. Also, these medications are effective in reducing protein loss in urine.
The above treatments can slow down diabetic nephropathy progression, but are not enough to treat it completely. Kidney failure will be the final result. Dialysis and Kidney Transplant will be required eventually.
Combined therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern western medicine technique is used to treat diabetic nephropathy. The therapy aims at stopping damage and reversing impaired renal function. It can stimulate the self-repairing of impaired nephrons in kidneys and restore the tiny structures. In this way, it can improve renal function and avoid kidney failure finally and effectively.
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