Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy

in Diabetic


. With the developing of the disease, the function of the kidneys starts to decline. Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy may include fatigue, swelling of the legs or around the eyes etc.

Usually, there are almost no symptoms at the early stage of Diabetic Nephropathy. The only sign may be small amounts of urine protein, often called microalbumin. Kidney damage is benign for 5 to 10 years before the symptoms occurred. 

As Diabetic Nephropathy progresses, the kidneys will not work well. They cannot filter metabolic wastes in the blood, balance the chemicals and secrete essential hormones. Under such circumstances, patients with Diabetic Nephropathy will have some symptoms, including

  ·higher blood pressure

  ·higher cholesterol and triglyceride levels

  ·more urine protein, known as macroalbumin

  ·swelling, first in the feet and legs and later through out the body.


  As Diabetic Nephropathy develops into renal failure, patients will have the following symptoms.

  ·loss of appetite

  ·weight loss




  ·metallic taste in the mouth

  ·trouble sleeping

  ·chest tightness

  ·shortness of breath

  ·feeling of dizziness most of the time

  ·poor concentration

  ·frequent muscle cramps

  ·marked paleness of skin and nail color

  ·decreased urine output

  ·frequent urination at night



  According to many years’ clinical experience, experts in Shijiazhuang Kidney Disease Hospital have concluded the early symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy. They are as follows:

  1. High blood pressure. This usually appears at the later stage of Diabetes especially in patients who already have proteinuria. At the early stage, blood pressure will go up only after exercise and persistent high blood pressure usually appears together with persistent proteinuria. Occurrence of this symptom will speed up deterioration of renal functions of the patients.

  2. Proteinuria. This is a main sign of Diabetic Nephropathy. Once proteinuria occurs, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) will begin to fall. Along with the development of the disease, there will be more proteinuria, which is in accordance with severity of renal changes. When GFR is obviously lowered and large amount of proteinuria occurs, the disease can develop quickly into Renal Failure. If 24-hour urine protein is less than 3g and there is no obvious increase of proteinuria, it will be much slower in progressing of Renal Failure.

  3. Edema and Nephrotic Syndrome. About half of the patients with Diabetic Nephropathy will have edema, which may be the result of hypoproteinemia caused by large amount of lose of protein into urine. With the growing of age, edema may be caused by more other factors. About 20% of the patients will have Nephrotic Syndrome.

  All above are symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy. Like any else diseases, early detection and treatment can greatly change the outcomes. So, early detection and treatment are of great importance. However, as what’s mentioned above, there are almost no symptoms at the early stage. Then how to detect Diabetic Nephropathy early? by regular routine test. At least once a year, diabetic patients should have a urine test. This test looks for a protein called albumin. As is delivered at the beginning of the article, albumin is the only sign at the early stage of Diabetic Nephropathy. Therefore, as a diabetic patient you should have regular urine test to monitor your kidney condition.

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This article was published on 2012/02/14