Victor Carabello, MD
Nephrologist & Internal Medicine located in East Los Angeles, CA
Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease: In the United States, 1 in 3 people with diabetes develops kidney disease. Knowing the risk factors for this common and serious health complication can help you prevent it or identify it before you suffer irreversible damage. At Carabello Kidney in East Los Angeles, California, dual board-certified nephrologist and internist Victor Carabello, MD, offers comprehensive care and advanced solutions for people with diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Call the office or schedule your appointment online today.
Diabetic Kidney Disease Q&A
What is diabetic kidney disease?
Persistent and progressive kidney damage is a frequent consequence of diabetes, a chronic disease that hinders your body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar (glucose) levels. If diabetes isn’t managed properly, it can inflict incremental and accumulative damage to your vascular system.
Besides restricting your circulation and increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, severe or poorly managed diabetes can damage the smaller vessels that supply your kidneys with blood, oxygen, and nutrients.
When your kidneys are damaged or impaired, they can’t filter waste and excess fluid out of your blood as they should. This condition is diabetic kidney disease (DKD) or diabetic nephropathy, and it’s also referred to as chronic kidney disease (CKD).
What are the signs of diabetic kidney disease?
Like other forms of CKD, DKD begins slowly and silently — in its earliest stages, most people don’t feel ill or experience symptoms of any kind. By the time symptoms occur, your kidneys may have already sustained significant damage.
In mid- to late-stage DKD, you may experience:
- Foamy urine from excess protein
- Swollen eyes, hands, ankles, and feet
- More frequent need to urinate
- Reduced need for insulin medication
- Worsening blood pressure control
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to seek a diagnosis as soon as possible. DKD is diagnosed with simple blood and urine tests.
Can I prevent diabetic kidney disease?
Diabetes may be a major risk factor for kidney disease, but it’s not the only risk factor. You’re more likely to develop kidney disease if your blood sugar and blood pressure levels are too high.
You’re also more likely to have kidney problems if you’re overweight, use tobacco, drink alcohol, make poor dietary choices, or aren’t physically active.
If you have diabetes, you should get tested for kidney disease every year. Managing your blood sugar levels, keeping your blood pressure under control, taking your medications as prescribed, and leading a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent DKD, or slow its progression.
How is diabetic kidney disease treated?
As with CKD, the main goal of DKD is to halt or curb its development. Medications to manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol are key treatment strategies in early-stage DKD, as is making healthy lifestyle changes.
For many people, a new class of diabetes medications called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors has proven very effective at regulating blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of requiring dialysis.
To find out how Dr. Carabello can help you manage DKD, call the office or book an appointment online today.