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Diabetic nephropathy

  • Alternative Names

    Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease; Diabetic glomerulosclerosis; Nephropathy - diabetic


    The goal of treatment is to keep the kidney disease from getting worse. Keeping your blood pressure under control (under 130/80) is one of the best ways to slow kidney damage.

    Your doctor may prescribe medicines to lower your blood pressure and protect your kidneys from more damage. Often, the best types of medicine to use are ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

    Eating a low-fat diet, taking drugs to control lipids, and getting regular exercise can also help prevent or slow kidney damage.

    To help slow kidney damage, closely control your blood sugar levels by:

    • Changing your diet
    • Taking insulin or other medicines your doctor prescribes
    • Knowing the basic steps for managing your blood sugar levels at home
    • Checking your blood sugar levels and keeping a record of them (ask your doctor and diabetes educator how often to check)

    Urinary tract and other infections are common, and can be treated with antibiotics.

    See also: Chronic kidney disease

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Diabetic kidney disease is a major cause of sickness and death in people with diabetes.

    When it is caught in the early stages, kidney damage may be slowed with treatment. Once larger amounts of protein appear in the urine, kidney damage will slowly get worse. Often, it will lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.

    People with diabetic kidney disease often also have problems with high blood pressure, heart disease, and eye damage.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have diabetes and you have not had a routine urinalysis to check for protein.