Diabetic Nephropathy (DN), also called intercapillary glomerulonephritis, describes the progressive kidney disease caused by Diabetes. Usually, the disease is caused by capillaries diseases in the kidney glomeruli. The characters of Diabetic Nephropathy are nephritic syndrome and glomerulosclerosis.
How diabetes affects your kidneys?
By affecting the tiny blood vessels in kidneys, Diabetes is able to destroy the kidneys. To be clear, the nephrons thicken and slowly become scarred over time. Consequently, the kidneys are unable to work well and begin to leak protein as well as other substances into urine.
However, the exact reason is still unknown. With poorly controlled Diabetes, people are more prone to get kidney disease; the incidence rate is about 40%. Sometimes family history matters too. There are some people obtaining a higher risk of suffering from Diabetic Nephropathy than others, such as smokers, some certain races of people and so on.
Five stages of Diabetic Nephropathy are:
1. Kidney function changes in this very first stage. The kidney increases in size, normally no less than 25%. What¡¯s more, the high filtration and priming rate are experienced, but no abnormity by doing renal biopsy. This is the very first stage of DN, it can be corrected by strictly controlling the blood sugar and receiving insulin treatment for several weeks or months.
2. The protein in urine increases after intensive physical activity. The GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is almost normal but renal structure changes. It can be reversed too as in the second stage of DN.
3. Renal function begins to decline in this stage. Normally speaking, 5-15 years¡¯ Diabetes leads to Diabetic Nephropathy degree 3. The protein in urine doesn¡¯t occur just after intensive exercise, but persistent proteinuria. If left untreated, 90% of the diabetics would progress to DN in the end.
4. This is also called clinical Diabetic Nephropathy. The characters in this stage present as massive albuminuria. Other symptoms are swelling along with elevated blood pressure. Evidence-based data reveals that patients in stage 4 with a poorly controlled blood pressure are going to develop ESRF (End-stage Renal Failure) within 8 years.
5. Stage 5 of DN is also called uremia or ESRF. Blood pressure increases significantly, and the GFR declines to less than 10ml/min. BUN and creatinine are also elevated with the serious damage kidneys. Other severe complications would develop during this stage.
The five stage is the progression of Diabetes to Diabetic Nephropathy. When patient with Diabetes progresses to ESRF, dialysis or kidney transplantation will be necessary. Hope you can learn something from the article and take timely action if you have the same disease.