Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Appointments

Mayo Clinic accepts appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System sites.

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  • Experience and expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors have significant expertise and experience, treating many people with diabetic nephropathy each year.
  • Team approach. Your multispecialty team may include experts from nephrology, hypertension and other areas, if needed. In Minnesota, Mayo's Diabetic Nephropathy Clinic provides comprehensive care, including a therapy plan tailored to your needs.
  • Newest research. Mayo researchers in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension work together both nationally and internationally on clinical trials to help develop new treatments and understand the underlying causes of diabetic nephropathy. They also serve on the Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group, a national network for clinical research on kidney disease.

Diagnosis

Mayo Clinic uses several diagnostic tests to identify diabetic nephropathy. These include:

  • Blood tests. You will need blood tests to monitor your diabetes and determine how well your kidneys are working.
  • Urinalysis. Urine samples provide information about your kidney function and whether there are high levels of red blood cells and protein in your urine.
  • Renal imaging. Specialists may use ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine how well blood is circulating within your kidneys. X-rays may be used to detect whether your kidneys have structural abnormalities.
  • Renal function testing. Doctors can assess your kidneys' filtering process using renal analysis testing. Mayo Clinic offers exceptionally precise measurement of the glomerular filtration rate — a very accurate measure of overall renal function.
  • Kidney biopsy. Doctors may want to examine your kidney tissue. For this procedure, a needle is used to extract small pieces of kidney tissue for examination under a microscope.

Read more about urinalysis, ultrasound, MRI and kidney biopsy.

Treatment

Treatment for diabetic nephropathy focuses on slowing its progression and managing your high blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in your urine (proteinuria). You'll receive a customized treatment plan, which may include:

  • Management of proteinuria. Medications can reduce the level of albumin, a protein, and improve kidney function.
  • High blood pressure management. Medications, diet and physical activity can help control high blood pressure.
  • Blood sugar control. Medications, diet and physical activity can help control your blood sugar levels.
  • Medication review. Nephrologists and nurse specialists will review your current medications and adjust dosages or change medications if necessary.
  • Preventive measures for complications from contrast dye studies. You'll receive information about your risks of increased kidney damage from medical tests that involve the use of contrast dye.
  • Special dietary plan. Dietitians can provide you with a personalized dietary plan and nutrition advice, including ways to limit salt, protein, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Cholesterol control. You'll be advised on diet, physical activity and medications to help control cholesterol levels.
  • Treatment of anemia. You'll be assessed for anemia (a decreased number of red blood cells) and receive medication if necessary.
  • Bone health. Diet and medications may help manage your calcium phosphate balance, which is important in maintaining healthy bones.
  • Anti-platelet therapy. Your doctor may prescribe a low dose of daily aspirin to prevent blood clots, unless you can't take daily aspirin because of side effects.
  • Other lifestyle changes. Team members can provide information on how to make other healthy lifestyle changes, such as programs for stopping smoking, exercise programs and weight management suggestions.

If you have end-stage kidney disease, treatment may include:

  • Dialysis. Mayo Clinic offers state-of-the-art dialysis treatment including the option for in-home dialysis.
  • Kidney transplant. The Mayo Clinic kidney transplant program offers pre-transplant consultation, living donor evaluation, kidney transplantation and post-transplantation care.

Mayo Clinic: Answers you can trust

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Nov. 19, 2012