Diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease is a serious complication that affects people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Up to 40% of individuals with diabetes develop kidney disease. The kidneys are two small, bean-shaped organs that balance fluids in the body, remove waste products from the blood, and produce urine. Diabetic nephropathy damages the kidneys over the years and can result in end-stage renal disease. The best way to slow the disease's progression and prevent complications is to start treating diabetic nephropathy as early as possible.
There are five stages of diabetic nephropathy. In the early stages, an individual may not experience any symptoms. Later stages cause an increased need to urinate, protein in the urine, reduced blood pressure control, less need for diabetic medication or insulin, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, confusion and difficulty concentrating, persistent itching, and swelling of the ankles, feet, hands, and eyes.
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