Diabetes and Kidney Disease Symptoms

ImageKidney damage from diabetes is called diabetic nephropathy. It begins long before you have symptoms. An early sign of it is small amounts of protein in your urine. A urine test can detect it. A blood test can also help determine how well your kidneys are working.

You may have symptoms if your nephropathy gets worse. These symptoms include:

Swelling (edema), first in the feet and legs and later throughout your body.

Poor appetite.

Weight loss.


Feeling tired or worn out.

Nausea or vomiting.

Trouble sleeping.

Five principles should be followed by everyone with diabetes to help prevent and treat kidney problems:

Tight control of blood glucose levels (A1C less than 7 percent)

Tight control of blood pressure: aim for lower than 130/80

Control of lipids: LDL (“bad”) cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dl, HDL (“good”) cholesterol should be above 50 mg/dl and triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl

No cigarette smoking

Blood pressure-lowering drugs, such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), are effective in protecting the kidney from damage if you have signs of diabetic kidney disease.


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