Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetes can damage the kidneys and cause them to fail. Failing kidneys lose their ability to filter out waste products, resulting in kidney disease. Diabetes can damage this system. High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters. After many years, they start to leak and useful protein is lost in the urine. Having small amounts of protein in the urine is called micro albuminuria. When kidney disease is diagnosed early, during micro albuminuria, several treatments may keep kidney disease from getting worse. Having larger amounts of protein in the urine is called macro albuminuria. When kidney disease is caught later during macro albuminuria, end-stage renal disease, or ESRD, usually follows. In time, the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to lose their filtering ability. Waste products then start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail. This failure, ESRD, is very serious. A person with ESRD needs to have a a kidney transplant or to have the blood filtered by machine (dialysis).

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