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Diabetes and Kidneys

About 1 out of 3 adults with diabetes has kidney disease.

The function of the kidneys is to filter wastes materials out of your blood to make urine. Your kidneys also help control blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy.

When your kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter blood like they should, which can cause wastes to build up in your body. Kidney damage can also cause other health problems.

Diabetic Kidney damage caused occurs slowly over many years. So having diabetes for a longer time increases the chances that you will have kidney damage. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. When the blood vessels are damaged, then they don’t work as well. Many people with diabetes also develop high blood pressure. African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos develop diabetes, kidney disease, and kidney failure at a higher rate than Caucasians.

You are also more likely to develop kidney disease if you have diabetes and

  • smoke
  • uncontrolled diabetes for a long time
  • eat foods high in salt
  • lack of exercise
  • are overweight
  • have heart disease
  • have a family history of kidney failure