Type 1 Diabetes & kidney complication


October 4th, 2022

Type 1 Diabetes & kidney complication

1. How Type 1 Diabetes can cause kidney complication?

Diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys over a long period of time making it harder to clear extra fluid and waste from the body. This is caused by high blood glucose levels and high blood pressure. It is known as diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease.
In its early stages, kidney disease doesn’t cause symptoms, but over time it can cause kidney failure. This means the kidneys stop working and dialysis is needed to clean the blood as the kidneys normally would. It is really important to detect kidney disease early as the damage can sometimes be reversed.

2. Spotting kidney disease early.

Because those affected by diabetes may not have visible symptoms in the early stages, it is really important to have the tests for kidney disease every year.
Albumin levels will be measured in the urine and creatinine will be measured in a blood sample to determine how healthy the diabetic’s kidneys are. Thanks to those 2 tests, the disease can be spotted early and slowed down with treatment.
If kidney disease progresses, people with Type 1 Diabetes may show symptoms like:

  • Swollen ankles, feet and hands
  • Blood in your pee (urine)
  • Feeling really tired
  • Being short of breath
  • Feeling sick

A person with diabetes may be feeling like this because their kidneys are struggling to clear extra fluid and waste from their body. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it’s important to talk to a doctor for more information and advice.

3. Tips to reduce the risk of kidney disease.

  • Keep blood glucose levels within the target range
  • Keep blood pressure down
  • Follow the healthy eating guidelines
  • Encourage exercise for 30 min per day


HelloType1 content is based on published, internationally recognised guidelines and then reviewed by local experts to ensure it fits local context. The translation is based on simplified English language to ensure it conveys the safest and clearest possible message in regional languages. Basic insulin and blood glucose testing access is still an issue in the South-East Asia region and our chief aim is to address this. HelloType1 content is not intended to replace the advice of individual healthcare professionals but as a collaborative tool to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged people with Type 1 Diabetes in the region.

HelloType1 content is curated for the topics using information only taken from accredited sources such as the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

This content is then reviewed and adapted by a panel consisting of healthcare experts (e.g. endocrinologist, nutritionist, diabetes nurse, psychologist) and members of the South-East Asia T1D communities, helping ensure the information is appropriate in a local context.

Writers of HelloType1 content:
Anne-Charlotte Ficheroulle, Pharmacist, Digital Innovation Manager at A4D
Charlotte O’Brian Gore, Research assistant ImmunoEngineering, King’s College. UK

Content Reviewers – healthcare professionals:
Dr. May Ng, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Chief Medical Advisor A4D, UK
Dr. Yeow Toh Peng, Endocrinologist, Malaysia
Dr Jaturat Petchkul, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Thailand
Dianna Culbertson, Physician Assistant T1D care, US
Prof Dr Malene Iv, Endocrinologist, Kantha Bopha Hospital, Cambodia
Steffen Tange, Consultant Psychology, Denmark
Soe Nyi Nyi, Nutritionist, Myanmar
Lucas Lim, Dietician, Malaysia

Content Reviewers – people with Type 1 Diabetes:
Jerry Gore, Co-Founder A4D, Mountaineer, UK
Diana Maynard, T1D advocate, UK
Emelyne Carmen Ho, College Student, Malaysia
Molly Seal, College Student, UK

Content Reviewers – parents with T1D child:
Samantha Seal, Teacher, Thailand
Kim Than, Deputy Country Director – Plan International, Cambodia

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