Nephropathy: Kidney Damage, Am I the Only One?

I went to my Dr. yesterday and discovered I have Diabetic Nephropathy, which is kidney disease. I have been retaining water for quite some time which shows up in the swelling of my feet and lower legs. What’s really weird is my left leg is worse than my right leg, much worse. They also did a test that deteremined that I have a condition called Microalbuminuria. It is the presence of protein which is normally found in the blood and filtered by the kidneys, which means my kidneys are damaged because its not supposed to leak through. It is another condition caused by diabetes. Right now it tested at 5.1 and needs to be less than 2.3. The Doc says we can fix it, but I’m not sure I understand how. They say about 40 people out of a hundred with diabetes will get Nephropathy. I guess these two are linked or maybe just the result of the same thing which is kidney damage from the Diabetes. I go back in a month for more lab work–he wants to have the arteries checked in my lower legs because I was in a Train wreck 32 years ago and had 3rd degree burns on both lower legs. If that is OK then he will start me on an ACE Inhibitor as long as I don’t have an allergic reaction to it, (that’s encouraging). If I am unable to tolerate the ACE Inhibitors he will put me on an ARB which is some sort of Receptor Blocker. Either way he assures me this can be treated successfully, but that’s what the Doc is supposed to say, isn’t it?
Does anyone else suffer from Nephropathy? I would really like to know if this is indeed treatable, or if I can only expect this condition to worsen. Some positive feedback would really lift my spirit right now. I know I’m not the only one in the entire community of TuDiabetes that is having to deal with this. So please, let me hear from you if you can give me first hand knowledge pertaining to Diabetic Nephropathy, and what to expect.

hey, Bobby, I’m sorry to hear about the Nephropathy. I don’t know anything, but I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve been taking ACE inhibitors for many many years without any problems, I understand they are good for the kidneys especially.

Thanks Marie, at least that is something positive about the ACE Inhibitors. My Dr. said some folks have allergic reactions to them, although I’ve never been one to be allergic to anything.

Hi Bobby,
Diabetic nephropathy is not uncommon. To my knowledge it is not curable, but it is most definitely treatable. There are a number of things you can do to help yourself. First though lets start with what the doc can do for you. An ACE inhibitor is the drug of choice and there are a number of them to choose from. If you cannot take one brand there are others. An ARB is similar in treating this and your doc may even give you both. One of the biggest keys is to control your blood pressure There are some side effects to the ACE’s. One of the most common is a dry cough. Deal with it. Your options without the drugs are not good. At least to me they aren’t. My life is more important. (this is my opinion. someone else may have a different one)
I don’t know how old you are, but if you want 40 or 50 more years out of your life then here are some things to make sure you have a chance to get them. Keeping your blood sugar under very good contol makes a big difference with this disease I have stage 3 chronic kidney disease. I have been in stage 4. The differrence for me is that mine was here a long time before my diabetes was. Yours is due to diabetes. However the treatment is basically the exact same. Things for you to remember, don’t take any ibuprofen, naproxen, celebrex or any iother NSAID It will damage your kidneys. Read all labels on cold medicine and pain relievers Don’t make a mistake on these. Don’t have any tests with iodine dye unless your life is threatened like with a heart attack or seriously blocked coronary arteries and it has to be done. Otherwise ultrasound works fine. Check the arterial supply in your legs with the ultrasound Works perfectly, Been there, done that.
Don’t hang on to stress. Do whatever you have to do to get rid of it. I am very sorry you have this kidney disease. It is here, but you can handle it. You will be diabetic for the rest of your life but you are handling it. In other words Bobby you are a lot stronger than you think. Go ahead and cry for now, but in a few days get back up on your feet. You can do this. You are a strong, young (enough) man who can do anything you decide to do and there is no reason to think your life will be shortened by this if you take excellent care of yourself and don’t let this drag you down You exercise, you watch your blood sugar, you watch your blood pressure, you get rid of stress each day, you look around you and appreciate the beauty of things in your life and enjoy yourself. Lean on the things you can count on when you need to lean. I lean on God, my family, friends and our big family here. There is so much strength, love and support in each of those. Let them all help you anytime you want or need. But do NOT let this pull you down with depression. You can do fine with this.
TOGETHER we can all make it through anything. .
My intention by talking like this to you Bobby is to empower you. Many of us have other diseases besides the diabetes that we put up with. Some of them are autoimmune, some not. The thing is that you use or do whatever it takes to get you through a day. There is so much life to live and so much to enjoy and so much to do that we need every minute of every day to do all the things we want to do And we need our sleep and rest. I am indeed sorry you have another thing to deal with, but I believe in you. You can do this. We are all with you. My prayers are with you and my trust is with you as well. If I can help you at any time, I am here.
Blessings be to you.

Bobby what a bummer but there is a bright side.
You caught it early and that is a good thing for treatment. Your blood pressure is a big deal for your kidneys so do your best there. Of course controlling your BG is also as it is for everyone so you are not in a boat alone your on a ship with tons of us. I don’t have kidney problems thank the Lord but I am not without my task filled days of other health things so as much as I am sure this is scary and it sucks try to be thankful if you can that you caught it.

Also go over your diet with a nephrologist (kidney doc) there might be some changes you can make to help your kidneys out. Of course it may mean you have to change some insulin habits but we all had to learn that at one time anyway :slight_smile:
You are not your illnesses you are so much more then that so this is only a part don’t let it get bigger then that.
Be loved you are I promise