Diabetes and Nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy, a problem with blood vessels making the kidneys less efficient, is another problem that affects diabetic individuals. It is caused when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the kidneys and it develops slowly over many years, meaning it usually affects individuals that have had diabetes for a while.

The earlier you catch kidney damage the more likely it can be treated, and if left too long it can lead to the need for kidney dialysis or a transplant – when you reach this stage it is known as end stage kidney disease.

At present Diabetes UK estimates that at least 10,350 people in the UK have end stage kidney failure because of their diabetes. It is noted that people with diabetes are five times more likely to need either kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant.

As part of a diabetic patient’s monitoring they should have regular blood and urine tests – these assist with early detection and the earlier the problem is detected the more likely the disease is to be treatable.

How to diagnose kidney disease at an early stage?

When a diabetic individual attends for testing their doctor will be looking for the presence of protein particles called ‘microalbumin’ in their urine.

If these are present it is an indication of the first stages of kidney disease as it means the blood vessels in the kidney have become leaky.

At this stage the disease is usually treatable and as such early detection is key.

Delayed diagnosis

A diagnosis of any complication resulting from diabetes can be difficult to deal with for the patient and his or her family.  The news can be even more devastating if the diagnosis could potentially have been made earlier and further, that an earlier diagnosis could have made a significant difference to the patient’s condition.

Delays in diagnosis may arise where particular symptoms are ignored or dismissed, the necessary tests are not conducted in good time or are not interpreted and acted on appropriately.

If you think that your monitoring has been inadequate it is of the utmost importance that you contact your doctor as a matter or urgency so they can arrange for review by specialists, as with problems of this nature time is of the essence when it comes to avoiding more serious harm from occurring.

How to start a claim

Our team at Royds Withy King has been developed with patients in mind and each member has a specialist knowledge of the condition of the diabetic individual and how kidney problems can develop when due care hasn’t been taken.  If you feel this has happened to you, our team can advise you on what to do next.

Of course, we recognise that money can never truly compensate you or your family for what you have gone through, but it can make a big difference. A compensation claim will take into account any loss of earnings or other financial expenses that you have incurred because of the negligence, and of particular relevance to a diabetic patient the costs of any future care required.

Call or email us and one of our specialists will be more than happy to discuss your situation and assess whether we are able to be of assistance to you.


Contact us to speak to a member of our specialist medical negligence team today.