Nephropathy is the term used for kidney disease or damage caused by diabetes. People with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or those who smoke have a greater risk of nephropathy. Additionally, researchers see a higher risk in Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics.
At the early stages, nephropathy is difficult to diagnosis as the symptoms are not apparent. A urine test for the protein albumin is an early warning trigger for possible early kidney damage. Medications to combat and stem the damage comes in two forms: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers. Additionally, doctors recommend changes in diet to lower salt and protein intake.