Diabetic Kidney Disease (Nephropathy)
Nephropathy means your kidneys are not working well. The final stage of nephropathy is called kidney failure, end-stage renal disease, or ESRD. Your kidneys filter blood, produce urine, control blood pressure, regulate blood chemicals, stimulate blood cell production, and perform other crucial physiologic functions.
Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, is the most common cause of kidney disease. There are 5 stages of diabetic nephropathy. The final stage is ESRD. Progress from one stage to the next can take many years.
Nephrologists help diabetic patients take measures to protect their kidney function over time and to treat the various complications of kidney disease, including electrolyte and mineral abnormalities, anemia, and hypertension. For those with severe kidney disease, nephrologists help them prepare for potential dialysis or transplantation needs in a timely manner.
At the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, Dr. Matthew Niemi works closely with endocrinologists, nutritionists, and other specialists, in providing comprehensive care for people with diabetic kidney disease.