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Ever felt like having feet or ankle swelling, non-stop itching, and increased need to urinate, when you’re having diabetes?
Well then, it might be possible that you are having diabetic nephropathy (nephro: kidney; pathy: disease).
Do not panic, the symptoms above often occur in the later stages of the disease. You may be able to reduce the risk of developing diabetic kidney disease, by taking care of your diabetes condition.
How does diabetes affect your kidney? 1,2
Having uncontrollably high blood sugar, could damage your tiny blood vessels, especially in the kidneys.
High blood sugar level damages the blood vessels that filter your blood, known as glomerulus. This can lead to kidney damage and cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause further kidney damage by increasing the pressure in the delicate filtering system of the kidneys. This is why many people with diabetes develop high blood pressure.
How common is diabetic nephropathy? 3
United Kingdom: England, Wales, Northern Ireland (Scotland data reported separately)
Adapted from United State Renal Data System
What are the symptoms of diabetic nephropathy? 1
As mentioned earlier, during the early stages of the disease, the symptoms might nowhere to be seen. It can take many years to progress. Usually when the symptoms appear, the kidney damage has already deteriorated significantly. By then, you may notice:
Who’s at risk of getting diabetic nephropathy? 1,2
People with very high blood glucose levels
Have a family history of diabetes and kidney disease
People with high blood pressure
How to prevent diabetic nephropathy? 1,2
Treat your diabetes. Whether or not you are on diabetes medicines, healthy eating habits are EXTREMELY important when it comes to controlling the blood sugar level. Remember, DO NOT SKIP your diabetic medicines.
Stop smoking. Cigarette smoking can damage your kidneys and make existing kidney damage worse. If you're a smoker, talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting smoking. Support groups, counseling and medications can all help you to stop.
Control your blood pressure. Talk to your doctor and ask for advice in better managing your blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy weight. Again, it always comes to healthy eating habits in losing weight, also not forgetting physically exercise. If you're at a healthy weight, work to maintain it by being physically active most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, talk with your doctor about weight-loss strategies, such as increasing daily physical activity and reducing calories.
-This article is supported by MSD-
Mayo Clinic. Diabetic Nephropathy. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-nephropathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20354556. Accessed on: 27th June 2021
NIDDK. Diabetic Kidney Disease. Available at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-kidney-disease. Accessed on: 27th June 2021
United States Renal Data System. Chapter 11: International Comparisons. Available at https://www.usrds.org/media/1738/v2_c11_intcomp_18_usrds.pdf. Accessed on: 27th June 2021.
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