Diabetes and Kidney Health – Important Information


If you have diabetes, or care for someone who does, there are some critical things to know about diabetes and kidney health.

Firstly, you should get tested every year for kidney disease if you:

  • have had Type 1 Diabetes for 5 years or more, or
  • have Type 2 Diabetes.


Because living with diabetes for a long time increases the risk of developing kidney damage.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. About one out of three adults with diabetes has kidney disease.[1] [2]


What Does Diabetes Have To Do With Kidney Health?


To understand why diabetes and kidney health are so closely related, we must first understand what our kidneys do for us.

The role of your kidneys


The main role of your kidneys is to make urine in order to filter waste and extra water out of your bloodstream.

However, did you know that your kidneys also help keep blood pressure at normal levels?

Kidneys also produce hormones that your body needs to continue functioning healthily.


Diabetes and kidney damage


High blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels in kidneys. High blood pressure can do the same, and many people living with diabetes develop high blood pressure which affects their kidneys.

When your kidneys are impacted this way, they filter blood less efficiently, which can lead to a build-up of waste in your body. This can lead to many other complications.

All of this might sound scary. So it’s important to note that kidney damage caused by diabetes usually takes years to develop.

Diabetic Kidney Disease


Diabetic kidney disease is also called DKD, chronic kidney disease, CKD, kidney disease of diabetes, or diabetic nephropathy.


Risk factors of developing diabetic kidney disease


There are certain lifestyle and medical factors that can contribute to your risk of developing diabetic kidney disease:

  • Not following a well-balanced diabetes nutrition plan
  • Eating foods high in salt
  • Not being active
  • Being overweight
  • Having a heart condition
  • Having a family history of kidney disease
  • High blood glucose levels
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Smoking.


How To Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetic Kidney Disease


The only way to identify diabetic kidney disease early is to get your kidneys checked. There are usually no symptoms that show early in patients with diabetic kidney disease.

If a health care professional suspects that a patient has kidney disease, they will test how well their blood filters waste by checking their urine for albumin.

The best way to prevent diabetic kidney disease is to continuously work to maintain your blood glucose and blood pressure at the levels you set as goals with your health care team.


Maintaining Good Kidney Health


To keep your kidneys healthy and to help reduce the risk of developing kidney disease, make sure you:

  • Keep blood glucose levels within target range
  • Control blood pressure levels
  • Stop smoking
  • Work with a dietitian to develop a diabetes meal plan limiting salt and sodium
  • Take part in regular physical activity
  • Maintain or achieve a healthy weight
  • Get enough sleep daily.


  1. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2019. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2007. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease and associated risk factors—United States, 1999–2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 56(8), pp.161-5.

Join the DiapointME mailing list

Sign up below to become part of the DiapointME online community.

By joining the DiapointME mailing list, you are giving us permission to send you emails. You are also agreeing to our Privacy Policy.

Unsubscribe at any time. 100% privacy. Powered by ConvertKit