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Make the Diabetes and Kidney Disease Connection

If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease often develops slowly and with few symptoms, many people don’t realize they’re sick until the disease is advanced.

  • Kidney diseases are the 9th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Approximately 1 of 3 adults with diabetes has chronic kidney disease.
  • Every 24 hours, more than 130 people with diabetes begin treatment for kidney failure.
  • If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease.
  • Keep your kidneys healthy by controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure.

Tips for Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy

  • Check your blood pressure regularly and keep it below 140/90 mm/Hg, but check with your health care provider for your appropriate target. Talk to your doctor about medicines and other ways to lower your blood pressure.
  • Stay in your target cholesterol range.
  • Eat foods lower in sodium.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Take your medications as directed.

If you have diabetes:

  • Meet blood sugar targets as often as you can.
  • Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.

Physical Activity
Healthy eating

Preventing type 2 diabetes is another important step in preventing kidney disease. Studies have shown that overweight people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, or 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. You can do that by eating healthier and getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week. The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you adopt the healthy lifestyle habits needed to prevent diabetes. Find a convenient program in your community.

For More Information

  • Page last reviewed: October 18, 2016
  • Page last updated: October 18, 2016
  • Content source:
  • Maintained By:
    • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation