Fast Five Quiz: Risk for Diabetic Nephropathy Progression

A. Brent Alper, Jr, MD, MPH


March 22, 2022

The American Diabetes Association suggests diets of various caloric values, depending on the patient. With advancing renal disease, dietary protein intake < 0.8 mg/kg/d may retard the progression of nephropathy.

All diabetic persons should consider reducing salt intake at least to < 5-6 g/d, in keeping with current recommendations for the general population, and may benefit from lowering salt intake to even lower levels. Reducing dietary salt intake may help slow progression of diabetic kidney disease.

Low-carbohydrate diets can treat both obesity and diabetes, but they are discouraged in diabetic nephropathy because of concerns that the relatively high protein content of low-carbohydrate diets will accelerate renal function decline.

The greater the intensity of exercise, the lower the risk for occurrence or progression of diabetic nephropathy in a study from 2019. The beneficial association of moderate- and high-intensity physical activity with the progression of renal disease was unaffected by diabetes duration, age at diabetes onset, sex, or smoking.

Learn more about lifestyle factors to slow progression of diabetic nephropathy.


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