kidney disease

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Home > Understanding Kidney Disease > Kidney Diseases > Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetes Kidney Disease

Diabetes Kidney Disease Basic

Diabetes kidney disease is secondary to diabetes.It mainly occurs among people with a long history of diabetes. The following article will give you a general introduction about diabetes kidney disease.

What is diabetes kidney disease?

Diabetes kidney disease is damage to your kidneys caused by diabetes. In severe case it can lead to kidney failure. But not all patients with Diabetes will develop kidney damage.

Are you at a risk of developing diabetes kidney disease? Chat with online doctor to get a evaluation of your illness condition.

What causes diabetes kidney disease?

The kidneys have many tiny blood vessels which are responsible for filtering wastes from your blood. High blood sugar can cause extra workload on these blood vessels and over time can make the blood vessels worn out. When the kidneys fail to work well, high levels of wastes will build up in body and proteins will leak into urine. Approximately 40 percent of diabetes patients will get diabetes kidney disease.

In addition, certain conditions can make the patients with diabetes are prone to diabetes kidney disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

What are the symptoms of diabetes kidney disease?

In early stages, the patients experience no symptoms. Therefore, it is important to have regular urine tests to find kidney damage early. Sometimes early kidney damage can be reversed.

Microalbuminuria refers to a small amount of protein in urine and it is the first sign of kidney disease in diabetes. As kidney function worsens, blood pressure will increase.If the kidneys fail to remove fluid from body, retention of fluid in body will result in edema in feet and legs.

How is diabetes kidney disease diagnosed?

Microalbuminuria test is a test used to check for a protein called albumin in the urine. This sign occurs as your kidneys are not able to filter it out the way they should.

As early kidney damage can be reversed, it is important for the patients to find diabetes kidney disease early. It is important for the patients with diabetes to take the following tests.

*If you have type 1 diabetes, you should have a urine test yearly after you have had diabetes for 5 years.

*If you are a type 2 diabetes sufferer, start yearly testing at the time you are diagnosed with diabetes.

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Diabetes Kidney Disease Symptoms

In early diabetes kidney disease,the patients show no symptoms. A small amount of albumin is the first sign of kidney damage in diabetes, but it only can be detected with urine test.With the renal function deterioration, the following clinical symptoms will become present.

Foamy urine

As diabetes kidney disease progresses, the filtering system will be impaired further.More proteins pass through glomeruli and end up in urine. Excess loss of protein in urine can cause foamy urine.


Edema is often noticed in the feet and legs firstly. With the disease progression, it will spread to throughout the body. It is due to leakage of protein in urine and also retention of fluid can contribute to it.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure can result from diabetes kidney disease. In return, it is an important accelerator of renal function decline. It is due to retention of fluids and sodium in body.

Weight loss

The patients with diabetes kidney disease may suffer weight loss and malnutrition. If the patients have protein in urine, they will have to limit the intake of proteins.Meanwhile,nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite can affect the intake of nutrients. All in all, the patients may suffer weight loss and malnutrition.

High cholesterol levels

Leakage of protein in urine can cause high cholesterol levels in blood. This can then increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood vessel diseases.


Fatigue can be seen in some cases of diabetes kidney disease. Anemia is the major culprit. Healthy kidneys can produce a hormone which can stimulate the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. However, the diseased kidneys will perform the function adequately, thus resulting in anemia.

Poor appetite

Poor appetite is mainly due to high levels of uremic toxins in body. Healthy kidneys can filter out urea nitrogen from body. However, once the kidneys are damaged, high levels of urea nitrogen will build up in body. The urea nitrogen will be decomposed into ammonia in gastrointestinal tract, thus leading to gastrointestinal problems like poor appetite, nausea and vomiting.

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Diabetes Kidney Disease Treatment

Diabetes kidney disease is a complication secondary to diabetes and it is one of leading causes of kidney failure. In early stage, if aggressive treatment can be used, the kidney disease can be reversed.The following is an overview of diabetes kidney disease treatment options.

Keep blood sugar level under control

Uncontrolled blood sugar is a dangerous risk in occurrence and progression of diabetes kidney disease. An intense control of blood sugar level can reduce strain on kidneys and delay renal function decline. In early stage, tight control of blood sugar even can reverse kidney damage.

Control blood pressure

High blood pressure can increase the stress on kidneys and is a major accelerator in worsening renal function. ACE inhibitors are first-line medications to lower blood pressure in Kidney Disease.It can delay the renal function decline and reduce proteinuria.In addition, it is effective in slowing the progression of diabetic retinopathy and the development of proliferative retinopathy.Some patients may need multiple kinds of blood pressure medicines like calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers and diuretics to control blood pressure.

Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy

Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy is a natural external therapy for diabetes kidney disease. It can dilate blood vessels and improve microcirculation in body. On one hand, it can reduce the incidence of diabetes complications like eye disease, foot disease etc.On the other hand,it can stimulate the self-regeneration of impaired kidney tissues to enhance renal function.

However,the therapy is not appropriate all patients with diabetes kidney disease.Are you a candidate to the therapy? Chat with our online doctor to get an answer now!


Immune system disorder is one of major causes of kidney damage in Diabetes. As the immune system fails to work normally, it attacks kidneys by mistakes, thus resulting in kidney damage.Immunotherapy can correct immune dysfunction and rebuild immune system as well as control the symptoms of diabetes kidney disease by restoring the impaired kidney damage.

Kidney replacement therapy

When kidneys fail to work, kidney replacement therapy will be prescribed to keep the patients alive including Dialysis and Kidney Transplant. Dialysis only works to remove wastes from body, but has no effect in improving renal function.

In kidney transplant, the diseased kidney is replaced with a healthy kidney. It can prolong their life span and a preferred option for the patients. However, for serious complications of Diabetes, the patients are at higher risk than non-diabetics.

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Diabetes Kidney Disease Diet﹠Fitnes

Diabetes kidney disease is one of serious complications of diabetes and it is also one of leading cause of kidney failure in clinic. Proper diet and fitness for people with diabetes kidney disease can delay renal function decline and the risk of developing kidney failure.

Diet for people with diabetes kidney disease


Carbohydrate is the main energy source in body, but is is also the nutrient that has the greatest effect on blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is important for the patients to cut down carbohydrate in diet. Breads and grains, fruits, milk, starchy vegetables and sweets are the main sources of carbohydrate.


If the patients with diabetes and kidney disease should cut down protein consumption in their diet duet to protein in urine , inadequate intake of protein is very likely to cause malnutrition. To maintain a healthy body weight, the patients should increase the consumption of calorie in their diet.


Salt can increase blood pressure, which in return causes damage to kidneys and increases risk of heart disease and stroke. The patients with diabetes kidney disease are recommended to limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg daily. The patients should limit or avoid canned, processed foods and choose fresh fruits and vegetables.


The patients even with early diabetes kidney disease are recommended to limit protein intake and the daily protein should be reduced to 0.8g/d. If the patients have renal insufficiency and swelling, the protein should be reduced to 0.6g/d.

As the illness condition varies from individual to individual, the diet should also be different. Email to to get a personalize dietary regime.

Exercise for people with diabetes kidney disease

Proper exercise has many heath benefits for people with diabetes kidney disease:

*Enhance immunity

*Better control of high blood pressure

*Benefit control of blood sugar level

*Reduce incidence of bone disease

*Delay renal function decline

The patients should choose continuous activity such as walking, swimming,bicycling, aerobic dancing,etc.Low-level strengthening exercise may also be beneficial as part of your program. Exercise should be done at least three days a week. If you experience the following discomforts, you should stop exercising.

*Very tired

*Shortness of breath

*Chest pain

* Leg cramp


Moreover, the patients with diabetes kidney disease are very likely to develop low blood sugar during exercise.If the patients experience the signs of low blood sugar, they should take measures to correct it at once.

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