Pronounced: die-a-BET-ik nuh-FROP-uh-theeEn Español (Spanish Version)
Diabetic nephropathy is kidney damage that occurs with diabetes. It is the job of the kidneys to:
- Filter blood
- Catch needed substances and return them to circulation
- Create urine to pass waste out of the body
Damage from diabetes can prevent the kidneys from working well. In some cases, this can lead to kidney failure.
Anatomy of the Kidney
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Blood passes through small filters in the kidneys. Changes in the blood vessels due to diabetes can cause damage to these filters. Blood sugar levels that are not well-controlled can have the greatest impact on the kidney filters.
Over time, the damage to the filters increases. The damaged filters cannot clean the blood properly and protein from the blood can leak into the urine. If left untreated, this can lead to kidney failure.
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.