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Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Your kidneys help clean waste products from your blood. They also work to keep the right balance of salt and fluid in your body.

Too much glucose in your blood is very hard on your kidneys. After a number of years, high blood glucose can cause the kidneys to stop working. This condition is called kidney failure. If your kidneys stop working, you'll need dialysis (using a machine or special fluids to clean your blood) or a kidney transplant.

kidney diseaseHave a urine test, called a microalbumin test, once a year to check for signs of kidney damage. The test measures how much protein is in your urine. Some types of blood pressure medicines can help prevent kidney damage. Ask your doctor whether these medicines could help you. You can also help prevent kidney problems by doing the following:

  • Take your medicine if you have high blood pressure.
  • Ask your doctor or your dietitian whether you should eat less protein (meat, poultry, cheese, milk, fish, and eggs).
  • See your doctor right away if you get a bladder or kidney infection. Signs of bladder or kidney infections are cloudy or bloody urine, pain or burning when you urinate, and having to urinate often or in a hurry. Back pain, chills, and fever are also signs of kidney infection.
  • Keep your blood glucose and blood pressure as close to normal as possible.
  • If you smoke, quit.

Points to Remember

  • Kidney Disease can occur when high blood sugar damages the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys. These blood vessels can become blocked and leaky and unable to filter out wastes in your body.

  • Every year, have a urine test (called a microalbumin test) that checks for small amounts of protein in your urine. This test will tell you how well your kidneys are working. Also, aim for your blood pressure targets. Blood pressure medicines such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs may prevent or delay kidney damage.