Diabetic nephropathy: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments

Diabetic nephropathy: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments

What is Diabetic nephropathy?

Diabetic nephropathy is defined as the development of kidney disease because of diabetes or high blood sugar, which can even lead to the kidney failure. Every third diabetic patient develops some form of diabetic nephropathy. The prime cause behind the development of Diabetic nephropathy is uncontrolled blood glucose level.

The uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage. There are 4 main types of diabetic nephropathy-

Peripheral nephropathy-The peripheral nephropathy generally affects the peripheral nerves, which includes the nerves of the feet and legs. The symptoms of peripheral nephropathy can be, managed by keeping blood sugar level under control.

Focal nephropathy- The focal nephropathy affects the particular nerve or areas of the body. Focal nephropathy is uncertain and painful, but does not cause any long-term damage.

Autonomic nephropathy-The autonomic nephropathy usually affects the digestive system and the abdomen area. Autonomic nephropathy damages the urinary system, blood vessels, and genital organs.

Proximal nephropathy– The proximal nephropathy generally leads to pain in the one side of the body. Proximal nephropathy results in the pain in legs, thighs, and buttocks.

Symptoms of Diabetic nephropathy

The symptoms of diabetic nephropathy depend upon its type.

Focal nephropathy symptoms

Proximal nephropathy symptoms

  • Legs pain
  • Thighs pain
  • Hips pain
  • Feet pain

Peripheral nephropathy symptoms

  • Permanent numbness
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Burning sensation and swelling

Autonomic nephropathy symptoms

Diagnosis of Diabetic nephropathy

Before starting the treatment, the doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination, which includes heart rate measurement, blood pressure, and your body temperature. A doctor may also ask you a number of questions related to your medical history and symptoms you have experienced.  After that, a doctor will order diagnostic tests such as blood test, urine test, CT scan or MRI. These tests will help your doctor know the exact condition of your disease.

Treatment of Diabetic nephropathy

  • There is no permanent cure for diabetic nephropathy, but the treatment can help in slowing down the progressive symptoms.
  • The best way to treat Diabetic nephropathy is to control your blood glucose level, take a diet full of nutrients and fats, but low in fat.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking, doing regular exercise can be very beneficial to control and reduce the symptoms related to Diabetic nephropathy.

Medicines such as antidepressants and anti-seizure can soothe your nerves and provide relief from the pain.


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