Diabetes and Kidney Disease
Diabetes makes your body less able to
use the foods you eat as sources of energy. As a result, sugar that the body uses as fuel
(glucose) builds up in the blood. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can harm
blood vessels and kidneys. By controlling diabetes, you can stay at a healthy blood glucose
level. And you can slow or prevent kidney damage.
Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics and Latinos have diabetes, chronic kidney
disease, and kidney failure at rates higher than whites. People with diabetes should have
their kidney function measured at least once a year with blood and urine tests. Having
diabetes is the most common reason for needing dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Visit your healthcare provider as scheduled.
Follow your diet
get the most energy from the foods you eat and feel your best, you may have to follow a
special diet. Work closely with your healthcare team. They can help you make a meal plan
that's right for you.
You may also need to:
Eat less protein.
Drink less fluid.
Limit salt (sodium) intake.
Eat foods that are low in phosphorus and potassium.
Stay away from or reduce doses of certain medicines that affect or are processed
by the kidneys.
Take insulin and diabetes medicine as directed
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose. You may give yourself insulin to
increase your body’s supply. Or you may take other medicines to help your body release
more insulin or use insulin better. The stage of your kidney disease can reduce the
amount of insulin your body needs. So your insulin injections or other medicine may be
adjusted. Talk with your healthcare provider if your blood glucose level is often too
low. Closely watch your blood glucose with a meter as directed by your provider.
types of blood pressure medicines help people with both diabetes and high blood pressure
reduce the risk of getting kidney disease. And reduce the risk of worsening existing
kidney disease. These medicines are:
- ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors
- ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers)
Studies show these medicines work even in people with diabetes who don't have high
Controlling these other risk factors for kidney disease and diabetes will also help
slow kidney disease progression:
- If you smoke, quit smoking as soon as possible.
- Controlling high blood pressure is also very important.
- Limiting alcohol will help slow kidney disease.
- Staying at a healthy body weight and getting regular activity
are also key.
Exercise helps the body use glucose. For best results:
Talk with your healthcare provider before starting a fitness program.
Ask your provider how often you should exercise and for how long.
Your provider may be able to suggest activities that will help you feel your
Eat 1 to 2 hours before you exercise. Check your
blood sugar right before you exercise to see if it's safe to exercise at that
When exercising, have a pack of diabetes supplies and snacks
close at hand. These snacks can help prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
- Always wear a medic alert necklace, bracelet, or information