Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy – Getting a Diagnosis
Regardless of whether you have type one diabetes or type two (adult-onset) diabetes, you can be at risk of developing diabetic nephropathy. In people with diabetes who fall within the ages 50-70 years old of age, diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of death. Individuals with onset diabetes will likely see diabetic nephropathy within the first fifteen years after being diagnosed (if they see it at all). Individuals with type one diabetes are most likely to see this kidney disease within the first five years. This is an instance of a serious kidney disease in diabetics. If you begin to notice any diabetic nephropathy symptoms it is a good idea to see a doctor regarding a diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy. The sooner that you receive a diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy, the sooner you can begin treatment. In order to recognize the diabetic nephropathy symptoms, you need to know what they are first. Read on to discover the symptoms of diabetic nephropathy, a common kidney disease in diabetics.
Diabetic nephropathy is a kidney disease discovered nearly 80 years ago. The result of diabetic nephropathy is poor filtering of fluids by the kidneys and other improper functioning of the kidneys. Other results are dangerously elevated blood pressure as well as immense fluid retention. Unfortunately, diabetic nephropathy symptoms aren’t visible early on which can lead to the disease going unnoticed for a span of time. One of the more prominent diabetic nephropathy symptoms is the prominent swelling of various body parts. This is commonly known as edema, and many people with chronic kidney disease will notice intense swelling in the mornings especially. Once diabetic nephropathy progresses a bit, many individuals will notice swelling in their legs.
Renal failure often results in excess protein being dispelled in one’s urine, and this can result in a very foamy appearance to their urine. The next two diabetic nephropathy symptoms might be a bit harder to notice because they tend to counteract one another. The first of these two symptoms is excess weight gain. This is due to the fluid retention caused, or in other words the edema. This weight gain can unfortunately go unnoticed in some individuals since one symptom of diabetic nephropathy is decreased appetite. The diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy can be slightly delayed since the weight loss will go unnoticed due to the counteracting of the edema on one’s overall weight. Diabetics should always be extremely aware of how much they are eating, what they are eating, and if they are hungry or not.
In addition to all of the aforementioned diabetic nephropathy symptoms, another symptom is a general feeling of being ill or not feeling as well as they usually would. This can go hand in hand with nausea, or in some cases, vomiting. It is important for individuals with this disease to ensure that they are consuming enough food and liquids, as it is quite easy to get malnourished or dehydrated, especially when someone is vomiting. Don’t assume that it is simply a flu or a stomach bug that is making you feel bad, even though you might have all of the symptoms of a fairly harmless flu. Diabetics with this kidney disease can sometimes notice intense headaches, another symptom of a cold or flu. These symptoms won’t always mean that you have diabetic nephropathy, but they are something to consider when you decide to see a doctor for a diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy. Fatigue is also an effect of diabetic nephropathy, so if you notice you are having headaches at a higher frequency than usual, or of greater intensity, then diabetic nephropathy might be the culprit.
Fortunately a diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy is fairly simple for a qualified doctor or specialist to give to you. Typically this kidney disease is discovered in diabetics after a routine urine test, which is good because these individuals usually catch it earlier than someone who didn’t have a routine test. If you waited until the symptoms got very intense, it might reduce your odds of recovering from this disease. The urine tests will also often display a great amount of glucose, protein, and creatinine in the urine.
Kidney biopsies are often performed to confirm the presence of diabetic nephropathy, because other things can cause these abnormalities in one’s urine sample. If you have noticed any of the aforementioned symptoms of diabetic nephropathy, visit a doctor immediately. The sooner you see a doctor, the better.
Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy That You Should Know!
Since we do not yet know what causes diabetes, doctors must always keep in mind a list of diabetic nephropathy symptoms just to be sure that they do not misdiagnose the disease and cause the patient a delay in receiving the proper treatment. Delay in reading the signs can cause coma and death in type 1 diabetes patients and a severe damaging of the body in type 2 diabetes patients – one good example in this respect is the high incidence of kidney disease in diabetics. Unfortunately, the symptoms are not severe, do not cause pain, and thus many people do not even think about going to the doctor for a check-up.
The type 1 and type 2 diabetic nephropathy symptoms are basically the same but there are some variations. There is a difference between the two types of diabetes as far as evolution is concerned and as far as how aggressive the disease is. The type 1 diabetes is usually the one diabetic nephropathy pathophysiology specialists look for in young people aged up to 20. The cause of this affliction usually lies in the pancreas, which is destroyed by antibodies and cannot secrete insulin. This is why type 1 diabetes patients always have to have insulin around.
The type 2 diabetic nephropathy symptoms are the ones doctors usually look for in patients aged over 20. This is the most common type of diabetes and it is generally sought to be brought on by high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. This type of diabetes is hereditary and it can even be prevented if stopped in time. The evolution of type 2 is slower, but it affects more of the body than type 1. Most of the problems it causes seem to gather round cases of chronic kidney disease.
Here are some of the diabetic nephropathy symptoms:
- Increased feeling of thirst
- Increased feeling of hunger
- Often urination
- Blurred vision
- Wounds that heal slowly
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss (type 1)
- Numbness of the limbs (type 2)
Most of the people experiencing these symptoms do not even know that they could have diabetes and do not go to the doctor. In other cases, some appear sooner and some appear later, and no connection can be made in due time between the two, so as to lead to the conclusion that the patient could have diabetes.
If you have passed the age of 20 and you think that type 2 diabetes is milder and easier to live with, you are awfully mistaken. More organs are affected and death is more sudden than you can imagine. Type 2 diabetes gets to the heart, the kidney, the eyes and the limbs. Being dependent on dialysis means being connected to a device that cleans your blood 4 hours a day, once every two days. It also means a high incidence of various forms of cancer. This is why much attention must be paid to the diabetic nephropathy symptoms.
Jessica earned a Bachelors Degree in Nutrition in University of Tennessee. She is currently a PhD Candidate at the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney.
Jessica is a health and nutrition enthusiast. She is fitness and nutrition blogger.