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Prevention & Delay

Diabetic nephropathy is the single most common cause of chronic kidney failure requiring dialysis and kidney replacement.

About Diabetic Nephropathy ( Kidney Disease )

Kidneys are made up of tiny filtering units called nephrons. Nephrons filter waste from the blood and maintain the salt-water balance. High levels of blood sugar
can damage the nephrons and cause the kidneys to leak essential proteins (albumin) into the urine. Eventually the kidneys can stop working completely
resulting in a condition called renal failure. For people with this condition, dialysis or renal transplant can be the only treatment options.

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Risk Factors

Factors that can increase the risk of diabetic nephropathy include :

  • Uncontrolled sugar levels
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood fat (bad cholesterol)
  • Smoking
  • Family history

Symptoms

Most people may not experience any symptoms in the initial stages of diabetic nephropathy. As it worsens people may experience

  • Swelling in the lower legs, ankles or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath with exertion
  • Bloody or dark coloured urine
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Investigations

Identifying kidney damage in its early stages is crucial. This is possible by performing the following tests:

  • Microalbumin test to detect traces of albumin in the urine.
  • Serum creatinine test to measure the level of creatinine in the blood.
  • If the test is abnormal, your risk factors need to be reduced and further investigations have to be conducted

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