What is the difference between nephropathy and neuropathy?

Though nephropathy and neuropathy are two medical terms that sound similar, they refer to conditions that are very different. Nephropathy is a term related to disease or damage of the kidneys, while neuropathy is a term related to damage of the nervous system. 

Both of these are umbrella terms, meaning that they refer to a condition that can have many root causes — which also results in many potential symptoms. In this blog, we will review the differences between each of these terms and how they impact those living with the condition.

The difference between nephropathy and neuropathy

What is nephropathy?

Nephropathy is an umbrella term to indicate damage or disease of the kidneys. Because the kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood, when they become damaged or diseased, there are many complications that can result, including high blood pressure, anemia, nerve damage, and more.

Nephropathy can have a variety of causes, as well. For example, IgA nephropathy occurs when immunoglobulin A (IgA) deposits build up in the kidneys, but other causes of nephropathy include diabetes and high blood pressure. Nephropathy is a progressive condition that can lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure — which is why getting treatment quickly is important. 

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy (also known as peripheral neuropathy) is an umbrella term for nerve damage that manifests in various parts of the peripheral nervous system. It can impact different body parts and have different symptoms depending on what is causing the disease.

The peripheral nervous system transmits messages between your body and the central nervous system, and includes sensory, motor, voluntary, and involuntary nerves. Symptoms typically include numbness, tingling, sensitivity, and pain, but depend heavily on the underlying cause of the neuropathy. There are over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy, with the most common risk factors being diabetes, chemotherapy, autoimmune disorders, and infections. 

For those living with nephropathy or neuropathy, exploring potential treatment options can be an ideal way to improve your quality of life. If you’d like to see what clinical trials for nephropathy and neuropathy are available, use the button below.