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How Diabetes Leads to Kidney Disease

Without monitoring from a kidney specialist, diabetes can lead to renal failure.

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar and the body’s inability to produce or process proper amounts of insulin. As of 2015, the International Diabetes Federation reported an average of over 400 million people living with diabetes worldwide.

Given poor diet and lifestyle choices, the number of people affected by diabetes (especially type 2) is on a rapid rise. Many people suffering from prediabetes, or impaired glucose intolerance, aren’t even aware of their condition.

When the body experiences constant high levels of blood sugar, the small, intricate blood vessels of the kidneys can suffer severe damage. Once these vessels are damaged, the kidneys are no longer able to efficiently filter waste. This results in kidney damage caused by diabetes, a condition known as diabetic nephropathy. About 40 percent of insulin-dependent diabetics eventually develop diabetic nephropathy.

Diabetic Nephropathy Symptoms

During the early stages of diabetic nephropathy, you may not experience any noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses and kidney function is diminished, blood pressure rises. This leads to swelling of the feet, ankles, and legs. Nausea and loss of appetite may occur, along with vomiting after meals. Symptoms usually worsens over time and can lead to other health issues.

Renal Failure From Diabetes / Diabetic Nephropathy

Left untreated, nephropathy may lead to renal failure (kidney failure) requiring dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant. Proper management of diabetes may help you avoid permanent kidney damage, along with treatment for nephropathy which is aimed at slowing progression of the disease. High blood pressure is also treated if necessary.

Importance of Regular Doctor Visits to Monitor Diabetes

People suffering from or at risk of diabetes or should visit their doctor frequently. Through regular blood and urine tests, your doctor can detect diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy and other diseases affecting the kidneys are also detectable in the earliest stages. Early diagnosis and intervention means better treatment outcomes.

Your doctor will also let you know how you can reduce your risk of nephropathy. Risk factors include being a diabetic that smokes, and having high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or high blood pressure. Both type I and type II diabetics are at risk.

Avoid Diabetic Nephropathy and Its Consequences With a Kidney Specialist

Jupiter kidney specialist Dr. Abbas Rabiei has helped many patients with diabetes avoid the severe health implications of kidney damage. Through patient education and comprehensive health care, which includes close symptom monitoring and regular lab work, he empowers his patients to take charge of their health. Call Coastal Nephrology today at 561-253-8121 for an appointment with leading kidney doctor in Palm Beach County, Dr. Rabiei.