Common Questions About Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Understanding Kidney Disease and Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ) chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 37 million adults in the United States — and having diabetes increases the risk of kidney failure. Understanding the link between kidney disease and diabetes can help you manage and treat both of these conditions.

What Is Diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes, and both occur when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t utilize the insulin it produces correctly. Insulin is a hormone, and one of its main roles is to help regulate, or control, your blood sugar.

Type 1 Diabetes

While type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, it typically starts in childhood or young adulthood. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin. Along with a special diet, patients with diabetes are treated by administering insulin through shots or an insulin pump.

Type 2 Diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, the body produces some insulin, but the body doesn’t use it properly. While type 2 diabetes can be hereditary, it may be preventable with diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes mostly occurs in people over 40 years of age, and is particularly prevalent among African Americans, Native Americans, Latin Americans, and Asian Americans.

How Does Diabetes Affect the Kidneys?

Diabetes can cause damage to small blood vessels throughout your body, including those in the kidneys. Blood vessel damage may impact how well your kidneys clean your blood. When your kidneys can’t filter and cleanse blood efficiently, it can lead to water retention, swelling, and a build-up of toxins in your blood.

Can CKD Be Prevented if You Have Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing CKD:

  • Control your blood sugar
  • Monitor and take steps to control your blood pressure
  • Keep an eye on your cholesterol levels
  • Adopt a healthy diet and exercise routine

If you’ve been diagnosed with both diabetes and kidney disease, it’s essential to keep up with your doctor visits and treatments.

If you’re concerned about CKD and diabetes, visit our blog to learn more about the risk factors and treatment options that may be right for you.