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HealthInfo Canterbury

Diabetes & kidney disease

Diabetic nephropathyOver time, diabetes can damage the small blood vessels and delicate filtering system in your kidneys. This is called diabetic nephropathy.

Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Kidney damage caused by diabetes usually happens slowly, over many years, but It doesn't happen to everyone with diabetes. It's more likely in people whose blood sugar (glucose) levels are poorly controlled, who have high blood pressure or who smoke.

You're also more at risk of kidney disease if you're Māori or Pasifika and have diabetes.

Self-care for diabetic kidney disease

Looking after your kidneys can prevent or delay kidney damage.

Diagnosing diabetic kidney disease

Your doctors may use several tests to diagnose diabetic nephropathy. These include:

Treating diabetic kidney disease

Any treatment for diabetic nephropathy aims to slow down damage to your kidneys. It includes:

If your diabetic nephropathy becomes severe, you'll need treatment for CKD.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2019. Last updated July 2021.

Sources

See also:

Looking after your kidneys

Page reference: 203300

Review key: HIDIA-21832