Health and MedicineDiseasesWhat is diabetic nephropathy and what symptoms does it produce?

What is diabetic nephropathy and what symptoms does it produce?

Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes, and involves alteration and damage to the kidneys that can lead to kidney failure.

Contrary to what is often thought, the reality is that diabetes is a serious disease, which although it does not tend to cause death (especially as a direct cause in itself), it does tend to cause the appearance of certain complications that can ultimately lead to it.

In any case, the truth is that diabetes is a chronic disease that, if not controlled, can lead to serious consequences and serious health problems. For this reason, more and more medical specialists consider it a serious disease, which, if properly treated, does not have to cause problems.

Briefly and simply explained, we could define diabetes as a disease that appears when our pancreas is not capable of producing insulin normally, or when it produces it but our body cannot make good use of it.

Insulin is a tremendously important hormone, since it acts as if it were a key, so that the glucose from the different foods we consume passes from the blood to the cells, to produce energy. But when our body is unable to use or produce it, our blood glucose levels rise (medically known as hyperglycemia).

Returning again to the case at hand, and particularly to the different complications that diabetes could produce, among the most common and frequent we find the following:

  • Heart diseases: such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy.
  • Decreased vision and blindness: since the increase in blood glucose, and its maintenance over time, causes damage to the eyes (particularly to the retina).
  • Stroke: Occurs when blood flow stops to part of the brain, causing damage to brain tissue.

Another of the serious consequences that diabetes produces over the years is known as  diabetic nephropathy, which translates into something very simple: alterations and damage to the kidney caused by the increase in blood glucose, and its maintenance over time. Over time.

What is diabetic nephropathy?

Diabetic nephropathy, also known as diabetic glomerulosclerosis or Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease, is kidney disease or damage that occurs in people who have diabetes. That is, when the control of blood glucose (as well as other associated factors) has not been adequate, it is common for alterations to occur in the kidney.

In fact, kidney disease is extremely common in people with diabetes, so that among the main causes of kidney failure, diabetes is one of the most common, accounting for around 44% of cases. It is part of the chronic complications associated with diabetes.

There are different factors that favor kidney damage in people with diabetes. For example, the time of evolution of diabetes, in such a way that the more time that has passed since its diagnosis, the greater the damage to the kidneys. It is common for nephropathy to appear in half of diabetics after 20 years of the onset of the disease.

The presence of arterial hypertension is considered one of the most common risk factors.

Other factors also play a role, such as the presence of excess weight (overweight and obesity) and hyperlipoproteinemia.

Does it produce symptoms?

Unfortunately, when diabetic nephropathy begins it does not produce symptoms, which makes its diagnosis extremely difficult until a few years have passed, when the damage and renal alteration have already advanced a lot.

For this reason, it is very important that diabetics have regular blood and urine tests (at least once a year) in order to know the state of the kidneys and detect early protein loss in inadequate urine.


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