Nephropathy means kidney disease or damage. Diabetic nephropathy is damage to your kidneys caused by diabetes. In severe cases it can lead to kidney failure. But not everyone with diabetes has kidney damage. The kidneys have many tiny blood vessels that filter waste from your blood. High blood sugar from diabetes can destroy these blood vessels. Over time, the kidney isn't able to do its job as well. Later it may stop working completely. This is called kidney failure.
Diabetic nephropathy is treated with medicines that lower blood pressure and protect the kidneys. These medicines may slow down kidney damage and are started as soon as any amount of protein is found in the urine. The use of these medicines before nephropathy occurs may also help prevent nephropathy in people who have normal blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, two or more medicines may be needed to lower your blood pressure enough to protect the kidneys. Medicines are added one at a time as needed.
629.900 Swiss adults have diabetes, i.e., 11,3% of the total population. An additional 339.200 citizens (6,1% of the population) suffer from impaired glucose tolerance (prediabetes). This situation will deteriorate in the future, with an estimated 726.500 adult citizens with diabetes in 2030. 3.350 Swiss citizens die from diabetes every year.1 this is 9 citizens every day. Type 2 diabetes, accounting for 80-90% of all diabetes in Switzerland, decreases life expectancy by 5-10 years.
Inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system is important to reduce intra glomerular pressure but other classes of antihypertensive agent may also be needed to gain adequate control of systemic blood pressure. Such measures can at least half the rate of progression of nephropathy and cardiovascular disease.