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Main > Kidney Disease > Diabetic Nephropathy > Diabetic Nephropathy Complications >
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Complications of Diabetic Nephropathy

2012-09-11 14:38

Diabetic Nephropathy itself is the complication and result of Diabetes. Therefore, its complications are pretty similar with kidney disease only with some problems coming from the primary disease.

Major complications of Diabetic Nephropathy are including:

Malnutrition or low immunity

Malnutrition is caused by low levels of protein. This is because patients with the disease often suffer from massive protein loss in urine. Long-standing albuminuria would result in malnutrition and leads to a stunted growth and low immunity.

High blood pressure

Hypertension attacks when one’s illness condition progresses. This is due to damaged kidneys resulting from Diabetes. ACE inhibitors or ARBs are most commonly used anti-hypertensive drugs.


Anemia, just like hypertension, often occurs commonly along with kidney damages. Different stage presents as different severities of anemia. Why it develops? Malfunctioned kidneys resulting from Diabetic Nephropathy fail to produce enough EPO (erythropoietin), meanwhile, shortened lifespan of RBCs (red blood cells) and accumulated toxins all contribute to anemia. The patients would present as pale face, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating and drowsiness etc.

Nephrotic Syndrome

Some of the patients would develop symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome, which are excess loss of albumin in urine, swelling and low levels of protein etc.

Renal Failure or ESRD

Renal Failure or ESRD is the most serious complications coming from Diabetic Nephropathy if left untreated or poorly controlled. Kidney Failure also develops as a result of poorly-controlled high blood glucose. Many other fatal complications which could threaten patients’ life security are heart failure and cardiovascular diseases. Dialysis and kidney transplantation will be few left options as it progresses to advanced stage.

Of course, there can be more. Here’s one thing need your attention is that no matter Diabetic Nephropathy or Diabetes, they all require serious attention and intensive care in daily lives. Medications, diet changes and lifestyle modifications could help control the progression.

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