Diabetic Nephropathy is the chronic loss of kidney function among those suffering from diabetes mellitus. In this condition the blood vessels in the kidneys are affected. It is the leading cause of kidney disease in patients starting renal replacement therapy and affects diabetic patients at extreme conditions.
There are 5 stages to diabetic nephropathy.
Stage 1: The kidney is damaged with normal Glomeruler Filtration Rate (GFR).
Stage 2: Kidneys are damaged with mild effect Glomeruler Filtration Rate
Stage 3: Moderate decrease in kidney function
Stage 4: Severe decrease in kidney function
Stage 5: Kidney failure.
Symptoms include; excessive urination, blood discharge during urination, swelling and cramps in legs, weakness, breathless, tiredness, high blood pressure, and excessive itching. Various tests and procedures are performed to determine the development of the disease which includes blood and urine tests, renal function testing, imaging of kidneys and biopsy of kidney tissues.
The treatment plan of early stage of the disease includes drugs like ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers to treat high blood pressure. These medicines help to curb down the blood sugar levels, cholesterol lowering drugs and medication to reduce albumin levels in the urine. However, kidney dialysis, and transplant are the most commonly available options available for treating the advanced stage of the disease. In many cases the patients are provided with high doses of thiamine and its derivative benfotiamine. Early detection is very important in cases of diabetic nephropathy.