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Why Does Proteinuria Occur in Type 1 Diabetes


Provided by Expert Zhang Youkang on 2013-03-03 16:38

Proteinuria is a medical condition in which proteins are lost in urine. It is an early sign of kidney disease. If people with type 1 diabetes have persistent proteinuria, it may indicate problem.

How does proteinuria occur in type 1 diabetes?

Normally, blood passes through kidneys and waste products, water and other chemicals are filtered by filters called glomeruli and then they are excreted in the form of urine. As proteins are too big to pass through the filters, normally they are preserved in body. However, high blood sugar level can impair the filters in kidneys over time, leading to proteinuria.

One such protein is albumin. About 4%~15% of adults with diabetes have small amounts of albumin leaking into their urine, a condition known as microalbuminuria. It is an early sign of Diabetic Nephropathy.

Albumin is needed for blood to hold water inside the arteries and capillaries. When there is not enough albumin in blood, water will build up in the tissues, leading to edema.

Proteinuria is a risk factor of diabetic nephropathy. Once it occurs, renal function can decline very rapidly. Therefore, it is important for the patients with type 1 diabetes to seek for treatment to control it immediately.

How to prevent diabetic nephropathy in type 1 diabetes?

Tight control of blood sugar can reduce the risk of diabetic nephropathy and slow down the disease progression in all individuals with type 1 Diabetes.

Effective control of high blood pressure can slow down the progression of kidney disease. ACE inhibitors are typically prescribed to people with diabetic nephropathy. They not only are effective in lowering high blood pressure, but also can help reducing protein in urine.

Also, a diet low in protein can slow down the progression of diabetic nephropathy.

People with a long history of diabetes are pretty likely to develop kidney problem. So if you have many years’ disease history, test for microalbumin should be done regularly.



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