ANN ARBOR — The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is recognizing National Kidney Month this March and World Kidney Day on March 14 by educating residents on the connection between diabetes and kidney disease. If you have diabetes, it’s important that you know about the link between diabetes and kidney disease, and what you can do to keep your kidneys healthy.
Kidney disease is most often caused by diabetes or high blood pressure (which many people with diabetes also have). About half of the people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. About 1 in 3 people with diabetes have kidney disease.
When you have diabetes, there is too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. This high blood glucose can damage the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, so they have trouble filtering waste from your blood. High blood pressure also can damage these blood vessels.
Having diabetes does not mean you will get kidney disease. The better a person with diabetes keeps their blood sugar and blood pressure under control, the lower the chance of getting kidney disease.
Kidney disease usually develops over many years, and has few warning signs in the early stages; so many people with kidney disease don’t know they have it. That’s why it’s important to manage your diabetes and your blood pressure at all times.
People with diabetes can lower their chances of having diabetesâ€related health problems like kidney disease by managing the ABCs of diabetes—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Here are other things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy when you have diabetes:
- Get your blood and urine tested at least once a year to measure how well your kidneys are working.
- Be physically active.
- If you smoke, get help to quit.
- Follow what your doctor says. Your doctor may ask you to see a special doctor to help with your kidney disease. Your doctor may also tell you to eat less salt or less protein.
- Take all medicines that your doctor tells you to take—even when you feel well.
Spread the word this about the link between diabetes and kidney disease during National Kidney Month this March! There are many things you can do to take care of your kidneys and your overall health when you have diabetes.
For more information about preventing and controlling kidney disease, or details about local events and workshops during Kidney Month, please visit www.nkfm.org or call the NKFM at 1-800-482-1455