Making Your Kidneys a Priority with Type 2 Diabetes

When it comes to managing your type 2 diabetes, are you considering your kidney health?

(02) Janssen Diabetes And Kidney 1000x750Photo: Adam Kazmierski Photography

Diabetes is a disease that develops when the body either cannot produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is created in the pancreas and is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood.1 When it comes to managing your type 2 diabetes, are you considering your kidney health? Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease in Canada, with up to one in two people with diabetes experiencing signs of kidney damage in their lifetime.2

High blood pressure, along with diabetes, puts added stress on the body. This can also cause damage to the kidneys.3 When the kidneys are damaged, they cannot filter the blood properly and protein spill into the urine.2 As kidney disease progress, waste products start to build up in your blood because your body can’t get rid of them.2

If left untreated, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, requiring the need for dialysis or even kidney transplants.2 Kidneys aren’t the only organs affected by diabetes either – it can also have detrimental effects on your heart.5 Having diabetes means you are more likely to develop heart disease.5 People living with diabetes are more likely to have certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, that can increase their chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.4

Be Kidney Conscious

If you live with type 2 diabetes, don’t wait to start protecting your kidney function. Take the right steps to prevent against common – and potentially serious – secondary problems associated with diabetic kidney disease (DKD).

If you are one of the more than 3.5 million Canadians living with diabetes5, understanding the impact of diabetes on your kidneys and heart can help keep these unwelcome surprises at bay.6

Since kidney disease often goes undetected until it is advanced5, testing can help identify kidney disease earlier.2,5 Diabetes Canada recommends those with diabetes be screened annually for early signs of chronic kidney disease with a simple blood and urine test.7,8

Keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar at target will help you avoid diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, and damage to your eyes, nerves, and kidneys.9, 10

Consult your doctor on effective ways to maintain your kidney and heart health as part of your Diabetes Management Plan. Questions to ask at your next appointment may include:

  • Has my kidney function been tested recently? If so, what were my results?
  • How often should I have my kidney function tested?
  • What is a good kidney test result for me?
  • Am I at risk of developing kidney damage?
  • Could any dietary or lifestyle changes be beneficial for my kidney health?
  • Would altering my medications help to support my kidney health?
  • Is there anything that can be done to also support my heart health?

Learn more about how you can protect your kidney function if you have type 2 diabetes and the impact it can have on your heart health by visiting

1 Diabetes Canada. Kidney disease. Accessed November 5, 2021.
2 Diabetes Canada. What is Diabetes. Accessed November 5,2021.‐diabetes/what‐is‐diabetes 
3 Diabetes Canada. High blood pressure. Accessed November 18, 2021.
4 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Stroke. Accessed November 5, 2021.
5 Diabetes Canada. Diabetes in Canada Backgrounder. Accessed November 10, 2021.
6 Diabetes Canada. Assess your risk of developing diabetes. Accessed November 5, 2021.—assessments
7 Diabetes Canada. 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. Can J Diabetes 2018;42(suppl 1): S1–S325
8 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetic Kidney Disease. Accessed November 5, 2021.
9 Diabetes Canada. Staying healthy with diabetes. Accessed November 18, 2021.
10 Kidney Foundation. Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy. Accessed November 18, 2021.

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