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Diabetic Nephropathy Screening

Diabetic nephropathy is damage to your kidneys caused by diabetes. In severe cases it can lead to kidney failure. Kidney problems are common in people with diabetes, and early treatment can delay or prevent the onset of diabetic nephropathy. However, early stages can often show no symptoms. Therefore, it is important that you be screened for kidney complications yearly.

How can you prevent diabetic nephropathy?

People with diabetes should work to keep their blood glucose levels under control to reduce their chance of developing diabetic nephropathy. It is also important to keep blood pressure at a healthy level. Eating right, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and checking blood glucose levels regularly can also help.

Treatments may include medications, such as Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). These medications have been shown to help lower blood pressure as well as protect kidney function and prevent further damage. Talk with your provider to see if these medications are right for you. If you are prescribed these medications, be sure to take them every day as prescribed.

What is a diabetic nephropathy screening?

Diabetic nephropathy is diagnosed using tests that check for a protein (albumin) in the urine. An albumin urine test can detect very small amounts of protein in the urine, allowing early detection of nephropathy. The test can be completed at your provider’s office.

What if I already have diabetic nephropathy?

If you have nephropathy or another kidney condition, you should see a nephrologist (no authorization is required for visit). Your nephrologist will work with you and your PCP to outline a treatment plan to manage your needs. In this case, you may qualify for the Healthy Advantage Reward when you see your nephrologist.

Healthy Advantage Reward: All members with diabetes are eligible for this reward. After your screening or visit with a nephrologist, return your completed Nephropathy Screening Reward form to us. Once we receive your form, we’ll send you a 16-page coupon booklet powered by Entertainment®, with savings in your area for things like dining, shopping, services, attractions and/or travel. If you complete this test, along with an HbA1c test and retinal eye exam, you will receive a $15 gift card as well.