Good to Know: Diabetes and Kidney Disease
The kidneys clean your blood by constantly filtering it through millions of tiny blood vessels. Frequent high blood glucose levels over years can lead to changes in how the kidneys function. High blood glucose causes extra blood to flow through the filters, making the kidneys work harder than usual. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure. High blood pressure in the kidney’s tiny blood vessels also puts added strain on the kidneys. High blood glucose and blood pressure levels can lead to scarring inside the filters so they don’t work as they should. Even though the filters aren’t working properly, symptoms may not occur until most of the kidney’s working capacity is lost. Before symptoms occur, substances such as protein leak through the walls of the filters instead of being retained. The protein then leaves the body in the urine. The best way to learn whether you have kidney problems is to have a sample of your urine checked once a year for microalbuminuria.