What Measures Can You Take If You Have Diabetic Kidney Disease?

  • Controlling your blood sugar
    The best way to prevent or slow kidney damage is to keep your blood sugar well controlled. This is usually done with diet, exercise, and, if needed, insulin or hypoglycemic pills (to lower your blood sugar level).
  • Controlling high blood pressure
    High blood pressure can increase your chances of getting kidney failure. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure target should be.
  • Protecting kidney function by taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs
    Your doctor may have you take high blood pressure medicines (called ACE inhibitors or ARBs) even if your blood pressure is normal. Research suggests that these medicines can slow the loss of kidney function in all people with diabetes—even those with normal blood pressure.
  • Limiting how much protein you eat
    People with diabetes and kidney disease should eat enough protein for good health, but avoid overeating it. Research suggests that eating less protein can slow kidney damage. You should talk to your doctor about this. If you need to go on a low-protein diet, you must plan this with a dietitian who specializes in kidney disease. Do not go on this type of diet without talking to a dietitian so that you have a healthy approach to dietary changes.
  • Promptly reporting to your doctor any difficulty passing urine
    Early treatment for urinary tract infections is important. Some signs of urinary infection could be: frequent need to urinate, burning or pain with urination, cloudy or blood-spotted urine, or a strong odor to your urine.
  • Limiting the amount of salt in your diet to help control high blood pressure and reduce body swelling.
  • Not using medicines that may damage the kidneys especially NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements because some can harm the kidneys.
  • Keeping cholesterol and lipid levels under control. This will help prevent further damage to larger blood vessels, such as those in the brain and heart.