Diabetic Nephropathy: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Dr. Manoj Chaudhary, MD, DNB (Nephrology), Consultant Nephrologist & Kidney Transplant Physician, Patel Hospital, Jalandhar.

What is Diabetic Nephropathy?

Diabetic nephropathy, also known as diabetic kidney disease, refers to damage to kidneys due to high blood sugar levels.
It can develop in patients with either type I or type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is increasing at alarming proportions and has become the leading cause of Nephropathy, Renal failure in diabetes due to changing lifestyle, obesity, and aging.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy?

  • Swelling or puffiness most commonly occurs in people’s legs, ankles, and feet, but can also occur around the eyes, abdomen and less often in other parts of the body.
  • Sometimes pain or burning can occur with urination. The urine could also be foamy, bloody or dark.
  • Loss of appetite. Besides, protein version problems, they don’t want to eat meat.
  • Feeling “winded” or out of breath. And, people feel fatigued, being unable to concentrate or tiring easily.
  • Feeling pains, mostly in legs and back, especially around the kidney area.
  • Itching or rashes of the skin.

How is Diabetic Nephropathy Diagnosed?

Proteinuria is the hallmark of diagnosis. The diagnosis could be made by a simple test like a urine routine examination. Of course, the quantification of Proteinuria could be done by 24-hour Urinary protein examination or spot urinary protein examination. The patient also complains of this in form of frothy urine.

What are the risk factors of Diabetic Nephropathy?

The most important risk factor is Blood sugar control: if a patient has hypertension it further predisposes to Nephropathy. Other risk factors are obesity, smoking, abnormal Lipid profile, degree of proteinuria(Amount). Patients whose first-degree relatives have hypertension and cardiovascular disease are warning signs for the development of nephropathy. Intrauterine exposure to high blood sugar may also risk the development of nephropathy. Inherent susceptibility to Nephropathy can be proved by Genetic susceptibility studies.

Prevention & Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy


Diet is one of the most important treatments in managing diabetes and kidney disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease as a result of diabetes, you’ll need to work with a dietitian to create an eating plan that’s right for you.
– Calories restriction mostly in the obese patient
– Salt restriction  : 2-3 gm/day –
Salt restrictions enhance the anti-protein uric effect of angiotensin converter blockers (ARB).
If a patient has kidney failure serum creatinine is high: potassium-containing food likes fruits/ fruit juice / Green leafy vegetables should be restricted. But the above thing shouldn’t be followed blindly. If patient potassium is normal some amount of the above food can be allowed in small quantities. Some are true for salt I.e., all patients are not salt sensitive.

Lifestyle modification:
– Weight loss in obese patients and also decreases proteinuria.
– Exercise and stoppage smoking were also beneficial.

Lipid-Lowering: Dietary restrictions and weight loss are also beneficial for lipid control, if not- beneficial the start

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What to do if kidney function starts to decrease? 

  1. Diet control
  2. Strict BP Control (130/80 or 120/80)
  3. ACE/ARB – telmisartan, ramipril etc.

How to avoid further Injury? 

  1. Avoid NSAIDS (Pain Killers) and Aminogly Consider (Injection Gentamicin, Amikacin)
  2. Try to avoid contrast for angiography
  3. Avoid Ayurvedic / Homeopathic drugs & other remedies without properly knowing that they can also decrease your Kidney function (Increase serums creatinine)
  4. If you have vomiting, Diarrhea or you are on diuretics then try to avoid ACE/ARB inhibitor temporarily

How to control Anemia (Low Hb)? 

Best is I/V iron, oral iron satisfactory, erythropoietin.

If kidney damaged, Advance Renal Failure (ACKD Stage-V)?

The best treatment – Kidney Transplantation

Other Acceptable Treatment: Hemodialysis CAPD (Home dialysis)

About Dr. Manoj Chaudhary

Dr. Manoj Chaudhary is a Consultant Nephrologist & Kidney Transplant Physician, working at Patel Hospital, Jalandhar. He is a qualified Nephrologist with experience of more than 16 years
and has successfully performed more than 500 kidney transplants. He is trained in the management of various kidney diseases and performs various procedures like dialysis access, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, kidney biopsy, renal transplantation, etc. Critical-care nephrology and delaying the progress of CKD are his areas of interest.

About Patel Hospital

A 250 bedded Multi-Specialty and Super-specialty Hospital in Northern India, equipped with ultramodern and state-of-the-art facilities for Comprehensive Care – from OPD Consultations and routine health check-ups to Intensive Care and Specialized & Super-Specialized Surgeries. Our hospital is unique in the region in terms of facilities as well as patient care.


Patel Hospital is a superspeciality and cancer hospital, and robotic surgery center. Combining highly-qualified medical talent and state-of-the-art equipment, we offer affordable, superior medical care, all under one roof.

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