Diabetic kidney disease is a type of kidney disease caused by diabetes. The main job of the kidneys is to filter wastes and extra water out of your blood to make urine. Your kidneys also help control blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy. Your kidneys are located in the middle of your back just below your rib cage. When your kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood like they should which causes wastes to build up in your body. Kidney damage caused by diabetes usually occurs slowly over many years.
How does diabetes cause kidney disease?
High blood glucose can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. When the blood vessels are damaged, they don’t work as well. Many people with diabetes also develop high blood pressure, which can also damage your kidneys.
What increases my chances of developing diabetic kidney disease?
Having diabetes for a longer time increases the chances that you will have kidney damage. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop kidney disease if:
- blood glucose is too high
- blood pressure is too high
- don’t follow your diabetes eating plan
- eat foods high in salt
- not active
- have heart disease
- have a family history of kidney failure
How can I tell if I have diabetic kidney disease?
Most people with diabetic kidney disease do not have symptoms. The only way to know if you have diabetic kidney disease is to get your kidneys checked. Doctors will check your urine for albumin and your blood to see how well your kidneys are filtering your the wastes and extra water.
You should get tested every year for kidney disease if you
- have type 2 diabetes
- have had type 1 diabetes for more than 5 years
How can I keep my kidneys healthy if I have diabetes?
The best way to slow or prevent diabetes-related kidney diseases is to try to reach your blood glucose and blood pressure goals. Healthy lifestyle habits and taking your medicines as prescribed can help you achieve these goals and improve your health overall.
1. Reach your blood glucose goals
Your health care professional will test your A1C. The A1C is a blood test that shows your average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. The higher your A1C number, the higher your blood glucose levels have been during the past 3 months.
2. Control your blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can cause cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases and many more.
3. Develop or maintain healthy lifestyle habits
Healthy lifestyle habits can help you reach your blood glucose and blood pressure goals.
Following the steps below will also help you keep your kidneys healthy:
- Stop smoking.
- Work with a dietitian to develop a diabetes meal plan and limit salt and sodium.
- Make physical activity part of your routine.
- Stay at or get to a healthy weight.
- Get enough sleep, aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
4. Take medicines as prescribed
Medicines may be an important part of your treatment plan. Your doctor will prescribe medicine based on your specific needs. Medicine can help you meet your blood glucose and blood pressure goals. You may need to take more than one kind of medicine to control your blood pressure.
Kidney damage from diabetes can get worse over time. However, you can start slowing down kidney damage to prevent or delay kidney failure. With the help of The Spike App by noting down your injections and blood glucose levels you will be able to better manage your diabetes!