If your blood sugar stays elevated for a long time, it can damage your kidneys and result in diabetic kidney disease. The less control you have over your blood sugar levels, the greater your risk is of developing diabetic kidney disease. Kidney damage can be detected through a simple urine or blood test that measures albumin levels. There are two stages of diabetic kidney disease: microalbuminuria and proteinuria
Microalbuminuria, also called nephropathy, is an early stage of kidney disease. During this stage, albumin leaks into the urine at a rate of 30-300 mg per day. If treated, it may go away over the span of several months to a year.
Proteinuria, or overt nephropathy, is a more severe stage of kidney disease. In this stage, albumin leaks into the urine at a rate greater than 300 mg per day. This stage of kidney disease is irreversible and usually marks the beginning of a gradual decline in kidney failure. A person with proteinuria will likely experience end-stage kidney failure and require a transplant or life-long dialysis.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of diabetic kidney disease:
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Dry, itchy skin
- Muscle cramps
- Fluid retention in feet or ankles
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Needing to pass urine more often
- Paleness due to anemia
If you experience any symptoms of diabetic kidney disease, seek medical care promptly as it can result in irreversible kidney damage if neglected.