Diabetic Kidney Disease

What is Diabetic Kidney Disease?

Diabetic nephropathy, popularly known as diabetic kidney disease, is the medical conditions in the kidney that results in malfunctioning of the kidneys, owing to diabetic condition. Researchers have shown that around 30 percent of those with diabetes are susceptible to diabetic kidney disease. This condition ultimately results in failure of the kidney. In this disease, the glomeruli or the filters of the kidneys get damaged. Therefore, the kidneys would become incapable of filtering out the wastes from your blood. As a result, your urine will have high levels of proteins called Albumins. Healthy kidneys flush out tiny quantities of albumin in the urine. Therefore, diagnosis of higher levels of albumin is the sign that diabetic kidney disease exists.

Coupled with other conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other diseases of the blood and heart, the damages incurred to the kidney are more and cause infections in the bladder and nerve damages. Depending on how much albumin is in the urine, there are two types of diabetic kidney disease:

  • Microalbuminuria – The albumin level in urine is 30-300 mg per day

  • Macroalbuminuria - The albumin level in urine is more than 300 mg per day


In early stages of diabetic kidney disease, it is unlikely to have symptoms. But as the condition worsens, symptoms begin to appear.
Other symptoms that can occur with diabetic kidney disease include: 

  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Puffiness around eyes
  • Increased frequency of passing urine
  • Anemia and pale skin
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Difficulty in clear thinking



The causes of diabetic kidney disease are:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor maintenance of blood glucose levels
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Long duration diabetes, especially in men
  • Smoking
  • Cardiovascular diseases



The risk factors for diabetic kidney disease are:

  • High glucose level in blood 
  • High albumin level in urine
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy eating habits 
  • Obesity



To prevent diabetic kidney disease you have to:

  • Maintain the glucose in your blood, within the target specified
  • Have a healthy heart 
  • Healthy blood circulation system by eating fibre rich food
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco 
  • Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight

How is it diagnosed?

The estimation of the functionality of kidney using factors like reports from blood tests, urine tests, consideration of age and gender, is called ‘Estimated glomerular filtration rate’. At Med...

How is it treated?

The treatments of diabetic kidney disease at Medanta aim to delay or prevent the progression of kidney disorders into kidney failure. Especially, if you have microalbuminuria, care can be taken to prevent occurrence of  diabteic kidney disease in..

  • ACE Inhibitors

    Angiotensin converting enzymes reduce the amount of a chemical called angiotensin in your blood stream. Lesser quantities of Angiotensin result in widening of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. Although this is a method to treat high blood pressure, it has been found to have positive effects in treatment of diabetic kidney disease.

  • Glucose level control

    The quantity of sugar in your blood has to be controlled for delaying progression of diabetic kidney disease.

  • Blood pressure control

    Strict blood pressure control is likely to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and prevent or delay the progression of kidney disease.

  • Medication review

    If medications cause side-effects in your body, then your doctor could revise the medication in order to reduce the same.

  • Lifestyle changes

    Healthy food to be consumed, body weight needs to be maintained and consumption of sweets, high-fat food, alcohol and smoking habits need to be reduced. Exercises should be done regularly to keep a healthy physique.

  • Kidney Dialysis

    This method is used to provide external support for cleansing the blood of chemicals, the task otherwise performed by healthy kidneys.

  • Kidney transplant

     If all else fails, your nephrologist may recommend a kidney transplantation procedure, wherein a kidney from a healthy donor is transplanted into you.

When do I contact the doctor?

Contact your specialist at Medanta if you have symptoms like increased or decreased frequency of urination, feeling drowsy, unexplained weight loss, vomiting, muscle cramps, etc. You may also find it difficult to concentrate properly.

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How does Medanta provide care?


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