Diabetic kidney disease is also called diabetic nephropathy. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. When the blood vessels are damaged, the kidneys don’t work as well. Kidney damage caused by diabetes usually occurs slowly, over many years. You can take steps to protect your kidneys and to prevent or delay kidney damage.

Most people with diabetic kidney diseases do not have symptoms. The only way to know if you have diabetic kidney disease is to get your kidneys checked.

Your doctor may ask for blood and urine tests to check for diabetic kidney disease. Urine test for albumin and test to determine the filteration rate generally help to detect how well your kidneys are functioning.

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

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.
  • Continue to take medicines as advised.

However, the good news is that if blood sugar is kept under optimum control and blood pressure is lowered, the occurrence, as well as the progression of kidney disease can be kept in check.1

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