Can Diabetes cause renal disease?

diabetes renal disease
Diabetes renal disease

Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder characterized by high level of blood sugar and caused by lack or lower level of insulin hormone. As per WHO, there are 422 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide. It is one of the top 10 causes of death globally and also reported as one of the major causes of blindness, kidney failure, stroke, cardiovascular diseases and lower limb amputation.  

Type of diabetes 

There are mainly three types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type 1 (also called juvenile diabetes) is caused by an autoimmune reaction which destroys the beta cells of pancreas that produces insulin. This reaction led to absence or low level of insulin in body and causes diabetes and associated complications. Type 1 diabetes usually diagnosed in children and young age people but it can develop at any age too.  

Type 2 diabetes is most common type of diabetes and caused when body does not make or use insulin well. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in middle age and older people but can developed at young age too. Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with unhealthy lifestyle habits.  

Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops in pregnant women and often resolve on its own after delivery. Women those have gestational diabetes during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later age.  

Here is an infographic to help you understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

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Diabetic complications  

 Diabetic complications are another dreading aspect of this diseases. In long term (and when left untreated), high blood sugar level can affect other important parts and organs of body and lead to serious diabetic complications. Such as:  

  • Diabetic neuropathy 
  • Diabetic nephropathy (chronic renal disease or diabetic renal disease)  
  • Cardiovascular diseases  
  • Gum diseases  
  • Retinopathy (eye complications) 
  • Ketoacidosis (DKA) 
  • Foot complications (lower limb amputation) 
  • Skin disorders (increased frequency of skin infections, itching etc.) 
  • High blood pressure  
  • Increased risk of stroke  

Diabetic renal diseases also called chronic diabetic kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy is one of the serious complications of diabetes. About 1 in 3 diabetic adults suffer from diabetic kidney diseases. And in long term, diabetic kidney disease may cause kidney failure and other life-threatening complications.  

How can diabetes cause chronic kidney diseases? What are signs and symptoms? What are some important tips that can help manage diabetes and avoid kidney disease? Read the post to know more!  

How diabetes can cause renal disease? 

Kidney is our body’s filtering organ that help in removing waste products from body and balance the body fluid.  kidney also play an important role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.  

Kidneys are made up of thousands of tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) that helps in this filtering process and keep us healthy.  

 In case of chronic diabetes, the increased blood sugar level put a pressure on these blood vessels and damage it. Over the time, this damage results in poor functionality of kidney and causes diabetic renal disease. 

 Increased execration of protein (albumin) is earliest sign of diabetic renal disease. This increased excretion of protein may cause other associated symptoms like weight gain and swelling in body.  

In long term and when left untreated, chronic kidney disease may lead to kidney failure.  

People who have higher blood pressure (along with high blood sugar level) are more prone and have a higher risk of developing renal diseases.  

Read this article to know more about the diabetic renal disease.  

Here is an infographic that shows how diabetes affects kidney.

how diabetes affects kidney
healthy Vs diabetic kidney

Image source:

Risk factors 

Diabetic kidney disease or chronic kidney disease is more common is those diabetic people who have poorly controlled diabetes (high blood sugar level) for longer period of time. Additionally, those who suffer from high blood pressure (along with diabetes) also carry a higher risk of developing diabetic renal disease.  

Here are some other important risk factors that increase the risk of diabetic renal disease.  

  • Smoking  
  • Being overweight  
  • Not following the diabetic treatment plan (diet, exercise and medication) 
  • Having cardiovascular disease (heart disease)  
  • High cholesterol level  
  • Family history of renal diseases and renal failure 

Sign and symptoms of diabetic kidney disease 

diabetes and chronic kidney disease
Diabetes and chronic kidney disease

Image source:

In early stage, diabetes renal disease often did not show any particular signs and symptoms. Symptoms usually start appeared in later stage of diabetes renal disease that include:  

  • Increased exertion of albumin (protein) in urine  
  •  increased fluid retention that causes swelling and oedema in lower part of body and on face.  
  • Poor blood pressure control 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Fatigue  
  • Loss of appetite  
  • Increased frequency of urination  
  • Itching  
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Confusion and drowsiness 
  •  Weakness 

Important tips that help people manage diabetes and avoid kidney disease 

prevention of diabetic kidney disease
prevention of diabetic kidney disease

Image source:

Here are some important tips for diabetic patients to manage their disease condition well and avoid kidney disease.  

Maintain your blood sugar level in optimum range (diet, exercise, medication and regular check-ups) 

Diabetes is a disease that require your constant attention and motivation towards maintaining a goal of keeping your blood sugar level in optimum range. Here are some important steps that can help a lot in maintaining your blood suage level in safe range.  

  • Your need to follow a diabetic friendly diet plan (eat healthy, nutritious meal at regular interval) and a regular exercise schedule (45 minutes of regular exercise, at least 5 days in a week) recommended by your doctor. This is the first and most important step that help in keeping your blood sugar level in check and avoid kidney diseases.  
  • Take your prescribed medication properly to avoid unnecessary complications.  
  • Visit your doctor clinic regularly and get all needed tests done to keep a check on your blood sugar level.  

Keep your blood pressure in safe range  

Just like blood sugar level, it is equally important to keep your blood pressure in safe range. Avoid eating high protein and high sodium diet that put extra pressure on kidney. Also, monitor your blood pressure regularly to keep a watch on your blood sugar level.  

High blood pressure level is one of the major factors that increases your risk of getting kidney disease, so it is important to maintain your blood pressure level in safe range to avoid getting kidney diseases and related complications.  

Regular tests for early detection of diabetic renal disease 

As I said earlier, CKD or diabetic renal disease often shows no symptoms at an early stage. Geeting regular kidney related tests can be helpful in early detection of diabetic renal disease.  

Here are some important tests for early detection of diabetic renal disease.  

  • Urine test to know the level of protein (albumin) and creatinine. Presence of protein in urine is one of the earliest signs that shows that your kidney is not functioning properly.  
  • Blood tests like eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration test) to know how well your kidneys are working.  
  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar and blood pressure level  

Follow a healthy lifestyle  

Following a healthy lifestyle is another essential factor that can help a lot in managing diabetes well and avoid getting diabetic renal disease.  

  • Eat healthy, nutritious meal at proper time interval  
  • Follow a regular exercise schedule  
  • Get enough sleep  
  • Keep your stress level in check  
  • Try to maintain an ideal weight  
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption  

Get support 

Sometimes battling with chronic diseases like diabetes and diabetic kidney disease could be an exhausting and frustrating experience for many people. they may feel a sense of sadness and helpless in this journey.  Getting support from support groups and social network is always a great idea to get needed help. is an amazing Indian support group and social network for chronic kidney disease patients. Patients can get important information, diet tips, expert opinions, and information about financial aid in India. This website is an incredible support and single source of truth for all things related to kidney diseases. This is a free platform that provides unbiased and authentic information around chronic kidney diseases. 

If you want to gather any information about diabetic renal disease or looking for a support group chronic kidney disease patient, you should must visit this website.  

Have you heard about this website before? What are your thoughts? Please share with me.  

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    • Sumita Mallick

      Thank you for sharing this very informative post. This is scary, but very very helpful. Learn a lot from it! Health is our wealth, so have to take care.

  • Ruchie

    We need to understand that diabetic person need to be taken care of very well, since my father-in-law has diabetes I always keep reading articles related to it, you have shared such detailed post which will help many people.

  • MeenalSonal

    Understanding the care for the diabetic person is very important. Your post explains the points in detailed manner that will help many to take care of their habits to bring diabetes in control and lead happy life.

    • myworldwitheira

      This is very informative Surbhi. I thankfully do not have anyone diabetic in my immediate family but do have some in my relatives. Will share your blog with them so they can be more informed and know the do’s and don’ts.

  • deepikabhatlisharma

    A very informative vand well written post. Diabetes needs to be well understood as it can cause hosts of other problems if not well well taken care of. You have pointed to so many related problems and how to take care and avoid them. The pictures enhance your post

    • Imagemakeover

      There are no diseases that cannot be cured if treated well on time. A person needs you have a disciplined life style and take utmost care of their food intake. Your insightful post has cleared many of my doubts and got to know things which I wasn’t aware about.

  • Preeti Chauhan

    With non – communicable disease being the largest cause of morbidity in these times, we really need to be alert about preventing complications related to Diabetes. I am glad that you shared information about the support group here because the treatment is costly and long term. The infographics used are quite helpful for the lay person.

  • rakshanagaraj

    Diabetes can cause a lot of problems and yes it surely can cause renal disease. It is so important to understand the types and causes of diabetes and understand how one can control and manage it.

    • Roma

      Thank you for sharing the detailed tests which can be done early to detect diabetic renal disease, I didn’t know about them honestly buddy. Such an immensely informative post

  • jhilmildsaha

    This is a very important post for those who are either diabetic or borderline diabetic. Yes we need to be very careful to take care of our health in entirety.

  • Hansa Kajaria

    My mother in law was suffering from diabetes and I’ve seen her struggle and all the physical issues that she had to face because of diabetes. Taking good care of diet and exercise is the only way one can keep control and tap on diabetes.

  • Rahul Prabhakar

    Being a prediabetic patient and knowing a lil bit about renal disease, for someone like me, this article was so useful to read from start to end. I am always looking for support groups and social networks for help and think that would be my go-to site from today for any important information, diet tips, expert opinions, and information about financial aid in India.

  • Shilpa Garg

    Have many friends and relatives who are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and a few have had renal complications too. Diabetes affects so many organs in the long run. But as you have rightly pointed it out , through proper diet, exercises and lifestyle changes, it can be managed well. Thanks for an informative post, Surbhi!

  • Aakriti

    Being from a family with a hereditary of diabetes I am so glad that I came across this article. There are so many things that I didn’t know about. Thank you for sharing ?

  • energeticreads

    Well written post. You have given a complete information at one place. And this also makes it easy for other person to get complete information. We have so many people who don’t even know they have diabetes also. Great one.

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    Diabetes is a silent killer and needs to be managed with proper medication, diet, exercise, and lifestyle, It can lead tto so many complications and one of these is renal disease. You have given a very clear picture abouut the link between diabetes and renal disease.

  • Varsh

    I’ve closely seen the adverse effects of diabetes on kidneys in case of my mother. She was on dialysis during the last two years of her life. Must take it seriously.

    • Priyal

      My father in law is a diabetic patient. We came to know about this 3 years back. So we take care of his food and he too takes care of himself by going on a morning walk. And I haven’t heard about this website earlier. Thanks for letting us know about this dear

  • Kavita Singh

    That is quite an informative blog and I am sure many people will benefit from this blog post. Both my parents are diabetic too and I keep an eye on such information 🙂

    • The Champa Tree

      You always choose topics that influence the lives of people in a larger way and the information you give is priceless. Many are unaware of the fact that diabetes can cause renal issues and in turn can cause complications in treatment as well.

  • rakhiparsai11984

    I have heard a lot about how Diabetes effects various organs of the body and causes harm too. In fact recently when I was detected with type 2 diabetes I was quite affarid of all these issues. This post is quite insightful.

  • Tina Basu

    This is such a well explained post. Diabetes is such a problematic thing. It gives rise to so many other problems. We have it in our family for generations! Its so important to maintain the sugar levels at all times.

  • Gleefulblogger

    Time has taught us to take life and health seriously, right information is the key to good and correct measures in the path to health. You have explained this so well, Surbhi. Keep up the good work.

  • Noor Anand Chawla

    This is such a power-packed post and will surely help many who are looking for information on this subject. Thank you for writing it.

  • Cindy D'Silva

    It’s good to know so much about diabetes. My friend’s son has diabetes type 1 and it’s so difficult for my friend to explain it to him especially when he’s got two siblings that don’t have it.

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