Diabetes and its complications can be life altering. Diabetes can also affect the kidneys and cause Diabetic Nephropathy. Initially the kidneys begin to leak and protein passes into the urine but once the kidneys filtering system breaks down there is no recourse to medicinal cure, and the available options are dialysis or kidney transplant. Damage to the kidneys takes place over a period of years and there are effective remedial actions to slow down the pace of deterioration and maintain the kidney functions.
Two things considered critical in slowing down the progression of Diabetic nephropathy is to lower the hypertension and maintain control on your blood glucose levels. Physcial activity, restriction of dietary protein and administration of ACE inhibitors might also help in slowing the progression of the disease. If you experience adverse side effects from ACE inhibitors you may be replaced with ARBs. The failure to hold the progression of kidney damage is indicated by the increasing degree of proteinuria. In such a case you may need dialysis or kidney transplantation as a final attempt.
Unfortunately there are no symptoms during the early stages of Diabetic nephropathy, but eventually the kidney function will start declining. You may have symptoms if your Diabetic nephropathy gets worse and require an intensive treatment. The symptoms include
- Lack of appetite
- Edema or puffiness of the extremities and face
- Nausea or vomiting
- Frequent hiccups
- Trouble getting sleep
- Extreme fatigue and tiredness
- Unintentional weight gain
- Foaming urine
You may be eligible for a conservative management of Diabetic nephropathy if you have the commitment to
- Slow the progression of kidney damage and control related complications
- Maintain stringent glycemic control to prevent the development or progression of the disease
- Maintain a rigorous blood pressure control
- Restrict salt and protein intake in your diet to potentially suppress the progress of the disease
- Make healthy lifestyle choices as it has a big impact on the health of your kidneys
- Quit smoking and maintain a healthy weight
ACE inhibitors and ARBs are robust and are prescribed as they have the kidney-protecting abilities. However, they do have their downsides. Persistent dry cough and in some rare cases it can cause a condition called hyperkalemia, in which potassium accumulates in the blood.
Kidney disease from diabetes is progressive, meaning it continues to get worse slowly. However, good control over blood sugar and blood pressure can help slow the progression of the disease.
Take care of your kidney health and make sure to monitor your blood glucose levels and blood pressure to protect your kidneys from secondary damage due to diabetes. Once your kidney is damaged, you cannot undo it. You can only slow it down or prevent it from getting worse.