In Diabetes, Your Kidney Health Matters

An estimated 3.5 million Canadians are currently living with diabetes, and as many as 50 per cent of people with diabetes may show signs of kidney damage.

TrajentaPhoto: iStock

Kidney disease may start slowly and progress over a number of years– you might not experience any symptoms in the early stages. If you do develop chronic kidney disease, your diabetes medication may not work as well as it should, or may need to be adjusted by your doctor. But you can take steps towards protecting your kidneys. It’s essential that people with diabetes discuss proper disease management and their kidney health with their doctor. Here are some things to consider:

  • Keeping blood sugar levels at target range can help to delay or prevent complications of diabetes
  • A change in diabetes medication may be needed as kidney function declines
  • Some medications for diabetes that control blood sugar levels can be started and taken at all stages of kidney function
  • Early assessment and starting treatment may maintain your kidney function for longer

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • What diabetes medications am I currently taking, and are they suitable for my level of kidney function?
  • What is my blood pressure target?
  • What is my blood sugar target?
  • What additional steps can I take to help protect my kidney function?
  • What tests do I need for my kidneys? How often do I need these tests?

Talk to your doctor about diabetes and your kidney health
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