Diabetic kidney disease, or diabetic nephropathy, is a complication of type 1 or type 2 diabetes caused by damage to the kidneys' delicate filtering system.
Your kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from your blood. Severe damage to these blood vessels can lead to diabetic nephropathy, which may lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
If you have diabetic nephropathy, it's very important for you to have your kidney function tested and monitored to prevent it from worsening and reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you have additional conditions — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or anemia — or you're obese or you smoke, your risk of diabetic nephropathy increases even more.
May. 28, 2014
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- Taal MW, et al. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
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