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Endocrinology (Diabetes and Metabolism) >
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease.
Your Marshfield Clinic health care team can diagnose and treat diabetes and any complications.
Nephropathy means your kidneys are not working well. The final stage of nephropathy is called kidney failure, end-stage renal disease, or ESRD.
Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, is the most common cause of kidney disease. Type 1 is more likely to lead to ESRD.
There are 5 stages of diabetic nephropathy. The final stage is ESRD. Progress from one stage to the next can take many years.
Both high blood pressure and high blood sugar damage the kidneys.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to be checked regularly for kidney disease. To do this, your healthcare provider will monitor the waste products in your blood and urine. Your healthcare provider will test your urine to check for a protein called albumin. Normally, urine should not contain any albumin. Having even a small amount of albumin in your urine is a sign that early kidney damage is present.
If kidney disease is detected, your healthcare provider will address it as part of your diabetes treatment plan.
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
Treatment may include:
For ESRD, you will need dialysis to cleanse the blood. Dialysis is a process to filter the toxins out of the blood.
Eventually, kidney transplant may also be a consideration.
The progression of diabetic nephropathy can be slowed by closely managing diabetes. This includes taking medicines to lower blood pressure and taking a statin medicine to improve lipid control.
For ESRD, you will need dialysis to cleanse the blood. Eventually, kidney transplant may also be a consideration.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
If this is a medical emergency, call 911.
(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
If you have diabetes, taking steps right away to control it will help you avoid complications that may come up later. This multiple-choice quiz will help you with important answers now. It is based on information from the American Diabetes Association, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the CDC.