Kidney Disease

Good care makes a difference

If you have diabetes:

• Ask your doctor about the DCCT and how its results might help you.

• Have your doctor measure your glycohemoglobin regularly. The HbA1c test averages your level of blood sugar for the previous 1-3 months.

• Follow your doctor's advice regarding insulin injections, medicines, diet, exercise, and monitoring your blood sugar.

• Have your blood pressure checked several times a year. If blood pressure is high, follow your doctor's plan for keeping it near normal levels.

• Ask your doctor whether you might benefit from receiving an ACE inhibitor.

• Have your urine checked yearly for microalbumin and protein. If there is protein in your urine, have your blood checked for elevated amounts of waste products such as creatinine.

• Ask your doctor whether you should reduce the amount of protein in your diet.

Looking to the future

The incidences of both diabetes and ESRD caused by diabetes have been rising.

Some experts predict that diabetes soon might account for half the cases of ESRD. In light of the increasing morbidity and mortality related to diabetes and ESRD, patients, researchers, and health care professionals will continue to benefit by addressing the relationship between the two diseases. The NIDDK is a leader in supporting research in this area.

Several areas of research supported by NIDDK hold great potential. Discovery of ways to predict who will develop kidney disease may lead to greater prevention, as people with diabetes who learn they are at risk institute strategies such as intensive management and blood pressure control.

Discovery of better anti-rejection drugs will improve results of kidney transplantation in patients with diabetes who develop ESRD. For some people with IDDM, advances in transplantation--especially transplantation of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas--could lead to a cure for both diabetes and the kidney disease of diabetes.

Back to Complications of Diabetes

Reprinted with permission from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

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