Diabetic Kidney disease

Diabetic kidney disease is a serious complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It affects normal kidney functioning. As a result, patients with diabetic kidney disease experience abnormal blood pressure, increased urination, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, protein in the urine, and swelling of the ankles, eyes, or hands.

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Diagnosis of Diabetic Kidney Disease

  • Urinary analysis: The analysis of the urine constituents provides crucial information about the functional status of the kidneys. The doctor may determine the albumin levels and other proteins in the urine. The albumin/creatinine ratio is also an indicator of kidney function.
  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate: Glomerular filtration rate is a parameter for evaluating the kidney function. Patients with diabetic kidney disease or other kidney diseases have a low glomerular filtration rate.
  • Imaging tests: The doctor may also recommend imaging tests to determine any abnormality in the size and structure of the kidney. The level of blood flow into the kidneys may also be obtained through imaging tests. These imaging tests include CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, and x-rays.

Management of Diabetic Kidney Disease

  • Medications: Several medications may be prescribed to slow or prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The medications include antihypertensive, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antidiabetics (changed or increased dose), and anti-inflammatory drugs (specifically for lower renal inflammation).
  • Dialysis: In patients with significantly reduced kidney function, the doctor may recommend dialysis. It involves the removal of excess fluids and waste metabolites from the blood through machines. The dialysis may be peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis. The frequency of the dialysis depends upon the level of kidney function. The duration of dialysis per session ranges from 3 to 5 hours.
  • Kidney transplant: In patients with no relief in symptoms with dialysis, the doctor may recommend undergoing a renal transplant. The patient undergoes a comprehensive health examination to determine eligibility for a kidney transplant.
  • Palliative care: If the dialysis is ineffective and the patient is not eligible for or refuses a kidney transplant, the doctor offers palliative care to manage the symptoms.