ABC Medical Center > Diabetic nephropathy

What is Diabetic nephropathy?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a pathology that causes kidney dysfunction, preventing them from correctly filtering, and eliminating liquids and waste substances, being a consequence of diabetes, which is why it is also known as diabetic kidney disease.

Diabetic nephropathy is considered the prelude to kidney failure, so if it is not attended promptly to delay its progress, it can worsen to the point of becoming a terminal failure, whose only therapeutic alternatives are permanent dialysis processes or a kidney transplant.

This disease is incurable, but it is possible to prevent it through healthy lifestyle habits that in turn help prevent the development of diabetes or high blood pressure, two determining factors for suffering from it.

Signs and symptoms Diabetic nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy is a progressive disease, so it does not usually show symptoms in its initial stage, but when it is already advanced, the following symptoms begin to appear, which worsen gradually:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Permanent itching.
  • Tiredness.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Urine with protein.
  • Swollen ankles, feet, and hands.
  • Urge to urinate frequently.
  • Concentration problems.
  • Decreased respiratory capacity.

If you have any of these symptoms or have diabetes, see your doctor for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Potential risks:

  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Smoking.
  • High cholesterol in the blood.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Family members who have diabetes and kidney problems.

Some serious complications of this disease are:

  • Pulmonary edema.
  • Hyperkalaemia
  • Stroke.
  • Diabetic retinopathy.
  • Anemia.
  • Kidney failure.

Diagnosis and treatment Diabetic nephropathy

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and request a series of urine tests to detect possible kidney damage, as well as X-rays, ultrasounds, computed tomography, and MRI to observe your kidneys and determine the degree of involvement.

The treatment to be followed includes control of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels through specialized drugs, as well as adopting healthy habits, such as an exercise program and a balanced diet.

If diabetic nephropathy is very advanced and has progressed to end-stage renal failure, the only therapeutic options are regular lifelong dialysis procedures or a kidney transplant.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • Polanco-Flores NA, Rodríguez-Castellanos F. Resultados de un programa de detección temprana de nefropatía diabética. Med Int Mex. 2019;35(2):198-207.
  • Aldrete-Velasco JA, Chiquete E, Rodríguez-García JA, et al. Mortalidad por enfermedad renal crónica y su relación con la diabetes en México. Med Int Mex. 2018;34(4):536-550.
  • Martínez CE, Bazana NMG. Nefropatía diabética: elementos sustantivos para el ejercicio clínico del médico familiar. Aten Fam. 2018;25(2):80-82.

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