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Diabetes and The Kidneys

In diabetic kidney disease (also called diabetic nephropathy), cells and blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged, affecting the organs’ ability to filter out waste. Waste builds up in your blood instead of being excreted. In some cases this can lead to kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, a person has to have his or her blood filtered through a machine (a treatment called dialysis) several times a week, or has to get a kidney transplant. 

Keep Your Kidneys Healthy If You Have Diabetes
There’s a lot you can do to prevent kidney problems. A recent study shows that controlling your blood glucose can prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease. Keeping your blood pressure under control is also important.

Diabetic kidney disease happens slowly and silently, so you might not feel that anything is wrong until severe problems have developed. Therefore, it is important to get your blood and urine checked for kidney problems each year.

Your doctor can learn how well your kidneys are working by testing every year for microalbumin (a protein) in the urine. Microalbumin in the urine is an early sign of diabetic kidney disease. Your doctor can also do a yearly blood test to measure your kidney function.

Go to the doctor if you develop a bladder or kidney infection; symptoms include cloudy or bloody urine, pain or burning when you urinate, an urgent need to urinate often, back pain, chills, or fever.

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