28.3 MB (1.3 MB compressed)
3162 x 3123 pixels
26.7 x 26.4 cm ⏐ 10.5 x 10.4 in (300dpi)
THEVISUALMD / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THEVISUALMD / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Because the kidneys are packed with millions of tiny capillaries, they are especially likely to be damaged by diabetes. In the early stages of kidney disease, or nephropathy, the glomerular (filtering) capillaries become thicker and weaker. Protein starts to leak into the urine as the damaged capillaries lose their ability to filter efficiently. This protein leakage is called microalbuminuria. As the disease progresses, increasing numbers of glomerular capillaries are destroyed by fibrosis (scarring). This increases the workload of the remaining, working glomerular capillaries. Too much work can cause them, in turn, to fail. More and more protein leaks into the urine.
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