Nephropathy, an impairment of the kidneys' ability to filter
waste from the blood is the most common cause of kidney failure in diabetics.
Tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, become blocked and leaky. Waste
products and water remain in the blood. Some of the necessary proteins and
nutrients that should stay in the blood are lost into the urine. A test
can check for even small amounts of protein in the urine. It is important
to check the health of your kidneys to detect and prevent kidney failure.
The most common symptoms of nephropathy are as follows:
Nephropathy is associated with renal failure. A
Nephrologist, a physician educated and trained in kidney diseases, kidney
transplants and dialysis therapy can assist with renal failure and kidney
malfunction. Acute renal failure is the generic term used to define an
abrupt decrease in renal function sufficient to result in retention of waste in
the body. This waste is unable to find an avenue to release itself from
the body because the kidneys are no longer functioning. This is when
dialysis becomes an option.
To reduce your risk as a diabetic of contracting nephropathy is
by controlling your blood sugar. This can cut your risk in half.
Also, keep blood pressure at recommended levels (130/80). You can talk
with your health care professional about a class of drugs to aid in this called
ACE inhibitors. Control cholesterol levels, quit smoking, and have a urine
protein check done once a year to help reduce your risk of kidney failure.
Finally, following a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and a moderate amount
of meat and exercise will also aid in your quest for avoiding nephropathy.
Source: Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc..
: Eli Lilly and Company, 2002.