Print
Request Appointment

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes is a disease in which there is either a total lack of a hormone called insulin (type 1 diabetes) or your body has become resistant to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is important in making your body use glucose (the form of sugar the body uses as fuel) to make energy. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can damage various organs and functions, including blood vessels and kidneys. By controlling diabetes, you can maintain a healthy blood glucose level, which can slow or prevent kidney damage. However, some people with diabetes will progress to kidney disease even with excellent glucose control. Diabetes is the most common causes of kidney diseases.

Healthcare provider talking to woman at table. Bowl of fresh fruit is on table.

Visit your health care provider as scheduled.

Follow your diet

To 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 to design a meal plan that is right for you. You may also need to:

  • Eat less protein.

  • Drink less fluid.

  • Limit sodium (salt) intake.

  • Eat foods that are low in phosphorus and potassium.

Take insulin and diabetes medication 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 medications 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 medication may be adjusted. Talk with your doctor if your blood glucose level is often too low. Monitor your blood glucose with a meter as directed by your doctor.

Taking a blood pressure medicine called an ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor, or an ARB (angriotensin receptor blocker) helps people with both diabetes and high blood pressure reduce the risk of getting kidney disease, or worsening existing kidney disease. Studies show these medicines work even in people with diabetes who don't have high blood pressure.

Controlling other risk factorsfor kidney disease and diabetes will also help slow progression of kidney disease. Smokers should quit smoking as soon as possiblle. Controlling high blood pressure is also very important. Limiting alcohol consumption will help slow kidney disease. Maintaining a health body weight and getting regular activity are also important.

Stay active

Exercise helps the body use glucose. For best results:

  • Talk with your doctor before starting a fitness program.

  • Ask your doctor how often you should exercise and for how long.

  • Your doctor may be able to suggest activities that will help you feel your best.

  • Eat 1–2 hours before you exercise.

Most people with diabetes are resistant to insulin. Being overweight increases your resistance. Keeping your body weight within a healthy range is very important to control diabetes.

 

Was this helpful?

Yes No
 

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.
 
 
 
 
 
NEXT ▶

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

 
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
 
 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.