What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which your ability to absorb glucose is impaired. The resulting buildup of glucose in the blood can cause serious health problems.
Why can diabetes lead to chronic kidney disease?
People with diabetes gradually lose the ability to reduce blood sugar to healthy levels. As glucose buildup persists, the kidneys have to work extra hard to filter blood, which reduces their ability to function over time. Uncontrolled diabetes can also cause nerve damage, which may lead to paralysis of the bladder. In this case, the bladder does not respond normally to pressure from a full bladder, leading to urine buildup and urinary tract infections. Over time, the result is a loss of kidney function and development of chronic kidney disease.
What are the risk factors of developing diabetes and chronic kidney disease?
- 45+ years old
- Family member who has diabetes
- High blood pressure
What can I do to manage my diabetes? How can I prevent the development of chronic kidney disease?
1. Visit your doctor regularly and keep them updated on your blood sugar levels.
2. Check your blood sugar levels frequently to better understand your diabetes levels.
3. Meet with a dietitian to learn how to eat healthy and improve your blood sugar control. Small amounts of weight loss can lead to great improvements in blood sugar levels.
a. Follow a diet that is low in refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and sodium. Prioritize healthy fats (mono- and polyunsaturated) over unhealthy saturated and trans fats.
b. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and high fiber grains. Drink lots of water and avoid juices, sodas, and other sweetened beverages.
4. Move, move, move! Small amounts of exercise can help you reach a healthy weight. You can do any type of exercise you enjoy, just keep moving!
5. Quit smoking. Studies show that smoking can worsen diabetes and lead to faster progression of chronic kidney disease can make diabetes and chronic kidney disease worse.