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How can diabetes hurt my kidneys?

When the kidneys are healthy, the micro filters in your kidneys keep protein inside your body. High blood glucose and high blood pressure damage the kidneys' filters. When this happens, protein leaks out of the kidneys and into the urine. Damaged kidneys aren't able to filter out wastes and extra fluid from the blood. Wastes and fluid build up in your blood instead of leaving the body in urine. Kidney damage doesn't show symptoms early on. An early sign of kidney damage is when your kidneys leak small amounts of a protein called albumin into the urine; and this is why the annual urine test is recommended. As the kidneys become more damaged, they leak more and more protein.

This problem is called proteinuria. With this condition, more and more wastes build up in the blood. As the damage gets worse, the kidneys fail.

Diabetic nephropathy is the medical term for kidney problems caused by diabetes; and nephropathy affects both kidneys at the same time.

What can I do if I have kidneys problems caused by diabetes?

Once you have kidney damage, you cannot undo it; but you can slow it down or stop it from getting worse. This is achieved by controlling your blood pressure, taking your ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and having your kidney function monitored regularly. However, if you are pregnant, you should not take ACE inhibitors or ARBs.
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