Diabetic Kidney Problems

Kidney damage from diabetes is called diabetic nephropathy.

Kidney damage from diabetes is called diabetic nephropathy. It begins long before you have symptoms. People with diabetes should get regular screenings for kidney disease. Tests include a urine test to detect protein in your urine and a blood test to show how well your kidneys are working.

If the damage continues, your kidneys could fail. In fact, diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in the United States. People with kidney failure need either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

You can slow down kidney damage or keep it from getting worse. Controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure, taking your medicines and not eating too much protein can help.

Signs of Kidney Disease in Patients with Diabetes

  • Albumin/protein in the urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Ankle and leg swelling, leg cramps
  • Going to the bathroom more often at night
  • High levels of BUN and creatinine in blood
  • Less need for insulin or antidiabetic medications
  • Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness, paleness and anemia
  • Itching

You can manage your diabetes better with:

  • home monitoring of your blood glucose levels
  • maintaining an awareness of controlling your blood pressure, and possibly monitoring your pressure at home
  • following your special diet.