T1D Info


Healthcare Professionals

About Us

Type 1 Diabetes & kidney complication

Edited: 17.04.2024

Anne-Charlotte Ficheroulle

Pharmacist, Digital Innovation Manager, A4D

1. How Type 1 Diabetes can cause kidney complications?

Diabetes can cause damage to your kidneys over a long period of time making it harder to clear extra fluid and waste from your 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 they stop working and dialysis is needed to clean the blood as the kidneys normally would. It is really important to detect kidney disease early enough, the damage can sometimes be reversed.

2. Spotting kidney disease early

Because you may not have visible symptoms in the early stages, it is really important to have tests for kidney disease every year.

Your albumin level will be measured in your urine and your creatinine in a blood sample to determine how healthy your kidneys are. Thanks to those 2 tests, the disease can be spotted early and slowed down with treatment.

If kidney disease progresses, you could notice symptoms like:

  • Swollen ankles, feet, and hands

  • Blood in your pee (urine)

  • Feeling really tired

  • Being short of breath

  • Feeling sick

You may be feeling like this because your kidneys are struggling to clear extra fluid and waste from your body. But these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it’s important to talk to your doctor for more information and advice.

3. Tips to reduce the risk of kidney disease.

4. What puts a person at risk for diabetic kidney disease and its complications?

Being diagnosed with diabetes does increase a person’s risk for kidney disease. However, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can increase the risk even further. Here are some things to remember:

  • Smoking can significantly increase the risk of kidney disease among people living with diabetes. It can also lead to lung cancer, as well as hypertension and heart problems. If you are a smoker, it would be best to quit as soon as possible.

  • Not following a proper diet plan can cause problems for people living with Type 1 diabetes. The reason for this is that if you’re not eating the right types of foods, then you might be worsening your diabetes. The more that diabetes is left uncontrolled, the faster a person would develop the complications associated with it.

  • Eating salty foods can also increase the risk for diabetic kidney disease. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it would be best to avoid eating salty foods in general as it could increase the risk of developing kidney disease.

  • Being inactive and being overweight can also increase the risk of kidney disease. Engaging in daily exercise not only lowers the risk of kidney disease, but also helps control diabetes.

  • Having a family history of kidney disease also increases a person’s risk of developing kidney problems later on. If a person has both diabetes and a family history of kidney disease, then they need to take extra care of their health since these things put them at a higher risk.

4. Key Takeaways

Kidney disease is a serious concern for persons with diabetes. So it is very important for diabetics to take the necessary measures to not just keep their diabetes under control, but to also make sure that they’re not doing anything that can be harmful to their kidneys.

The best way to deal with kidney disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By following your doctor’s advice, eating healthy, and engaging in daily exercise, diabetics can expect a high quality of life and a lower risk of complications arising from their condition.

Take the quiz on kidney complication now!

Icon Disclaimer:

You are not alone!

There are many people who have the condition.

on the Type 1 Facebook community.