Articles / Type 2 Diabetes / Got Diabetes? How to Protect Your Kidneys

Written by Nan Kuhlman

Medically Reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD | Feb 15, 2019

If you have diabetes, you have a 25 percent chance of developing kidney disease. Kidney disease is also connected with eye problems and blindness and in some cases, the kidneys lose most of their ability to function. Anything less than 15 percent of normal kidney function is considered kidney failure. Another potential problem is a urinary tract infection that spreads bacteria to the kidneys. The good news is that you can take steps to protect your kidneys. Here’s what you can do:

Monitor your blood glucose (FBG) closely

Your physician may request a test called A1c or HbA1c. This test is an average of your blood glucose levels over a three-month period. Some healthcare professionals say that a good A1c level is anything less than 7 percent, but all agree that working closely with your doctor and keeping a close eye on your blood glucose levels are good practices.

Maintaining Your Kidneys

 

Do what you can to promote good health

This can include daily exercise and a healthy diet which reduces sodium. It also might mean smoking cessation and losing weight. Believe it or not, making sure to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours also benefits your health. Here’s to getting more zzzzzz’s!

Watch your blood pressure

Most health professionals agree that keeping your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg is a good idea. Blood pressure measures the force of your blood against the inside of your blood vessels, and when it is too high, it means your heart is working too hard. This can lead to serious complications like stroke or even a heart attack.

Diabetic Kidney Disease

 

Sometimes the stress of dealing with diabetes on a daily basis can increase blood pressure or even blood glucose levels. Learning to manage stress by including activities you enjoy, meditating, walking in nature, or practicing yoga can be helpful.

While diabetes can be a daunting diagnosis, you can take control of your kidneys and their health. Working closely with your doctor and educating yourself about what you can do are important first steps toward better health.

References

Diabetes and Kidney Disease (Stages 1-4). (2014). National Kidney Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/Diabetes-and-Kidney-Disease-Stages1-4

Diabetic kidney disease. (2017).  National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-kidney-disease

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