Does diabetes lead to kidney disease?

Edtrina Moss
Ambulatory Care

Diabetes is the number one cause of adult kidney failure. This means that years of uncontrolled or unmanaged diabetes can damage your kidneys. To prevent this, you must be actively engaged and participate in your diabetes management. This includes consistent measurements of your blood glucose as discussed by you and your physician. There are devices available that allow you to measure your blood glucose levels throughout the week with the least amount of discomfort.

It also includes "knowing your numbers." Your numbers are hemoglobin A1C, your blood pressure, and your eGFR. Your healthcare team should discuss your readings with you and help you identify where you need to be based on your individual plan of care. A regular exercise schedule that considers your competing demands will help you better manage your diabetes and sustain an exercise plan that is part of your daily or weekly routine.

Diabetes does not have to lead to kidney failure. You must be 100% committed to taking the necessary steps that will keep your diabetes managed and your kidneys healthy.

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

While diabetes is on the Most Wanted poster at the dialysis center post office, it’s very, very, very important to remember that simply having diabetes does not guarantee kidney failure.

It is uncontrolled diabetes that is the real criminal. This may seem like a simple semantic difference: diabetes vs. uncontrolled diabetes. But please understand that it’s not diabetes that wipes out your kidneys. It is the high sugar that can come from diabetes that is not controlled. Keep your diabetes in control. Keep your kidneys. Simple recipe.

Continue Learning about Diabetes Complications

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.