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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Treat Diabetes > Health Problems with Diabetes > Kidneys


What Can Happen?

Your kidneys have many blood vessels that act as filters. These filters are used to remove waste from your blood. This waste leaves your body when you pee.

Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. Over time, this damage causes kidney disease. Kidney disease is also known as nephropathy.

Even more damage can happen if you have high blood pressure and cholesterol too. This raises your risk of kidney disease.

What Can I Do?

Signs of Kidney Disease

You may not have signs in the early stages of kidney disease. Get your kidney function tested early.

As kidney disease gets worse (progresses), you may have changes in your health that include:

  • blood pressure that is hard to control
  • feeling very tired (fatigue)
  • feeling weak or dizzy
  • an upset stomach (nausea)
  • changes in your pee

See your doctor if you have signs of kidney damage

Ask your doctor to check your kidneys. Do this at least once a year.

Talk to your doctor and dietitian about the results. Ask them what you can do to help.

If you have high blood pressure:

  • take your medicines.
  • avoid smoking.
  • check blood pressure often (ask your doctor about how often to check your blood pressure).
  • reduce the amount of sodium (found in salt) in your diet. Find out more about sodium »
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Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016