Diabetic Nephropathy (Kidney Disease)
What is diabetic nephropathy?
Nephropathy is the deterioration of the kidneys. The final stage of nephropathy is called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD.
Diabetes is the most common cause of ESRD, accounting for about 44 percent of cases. About 24 million people in the US have diabetes, and more than 180,000 people have ESRD as a result of diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to diabetic nephropathy, although type 1 is more likely to lead to ESRD.
There are five stages of diabetic nephropathy, or deterioration of the kidneys. The fifth stage is ESRD. Progress from one stage to the next can take many years, with 23 years being the average length of time to reach stage five.
What causes diabetic nephropathy?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a complication of diabetes that is believed to contribute most directly to diabetic nephropathy. Hypertension is believed to be both the cause of diabetic nephropathy, as well as the result of damage that is created by the disease. As kidney disease progresses, physical changes in the kidneys often lead to increased blood pressure.
Uncontrolled hypertension can make the progress toward stage five diabetic nephropathy occur more rapidly.
Treatment for diabetic nephropathy:
Specific treatment for diabetic nephropathy will be determined by your physician based on:
* your age, overall health, and medical history
* extent of the disease
* your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
* expectations for the course of the disease
* your opinion or preference