A person with diabetes needs to be aware of all the possible complications, such as diabetic nephropathy, that could come from having the disease. In essence, diabetes can wreak havoc on many of the body's systems and organs, including the kidneys. When the kidneys start to be affected, this is the start of diabetic nephropathy and if not treated, it can lead to an early death. The high level of sugar in the blood is problematic for the kidneys and the small blood vessels that make up the organ eventually can be destroyed. It is not understood why some diabetes patients develop this problem and others never have any kidney issues resulting from the condition.
Because there are no early symptoms of this disease, a person with diabetes will need to have regular urine tests to discover the complication before it reaches a critical level. These tests detect proteins in the urine, which are signs that the kidney is not functioning properly. As the kidneys get worse and worse, other health problems start to develop. Many patients with nephropathy also have elevated cholesterol as well as high blood pressure, raising the chances of having problems related to the heart.
The main form of treatment against nephropathy caused by diabetes is a group of medications that includes ACE inhibitors and ARBs, or Angiotensin II receptor blockers. These drugs help to reduce the blood pressure, thus lowering the strain that is put on the kidneys. In addition, patients are encouraged to lower their fat intake and also remove alcohol from their diet. Other dietary changes that will need to be made are limiting heavy protein consumption and keeping salt to a minimum. Exercise will also help to lower the cholesterol levels, reduce the heart pressure, and stem the damage of the diabetic nephropathy condition.