Two kidneys show a silhouette of a woman and a blood sugar level chart as a circle loops around them.

My Connection to Chronic Kidney Disease and T2D

Last updated: September 2023

I developed type 2 diabetes first, and chronic kidney disease followed years later. This journey in my life sure is taking a significant toll on my mind as well as my body. Who knew?

Diabetes and chronic kidney disease risk

I didn't know until I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) that type 2 diabetes had affected my kidneys for years. My doctor told me that the kidneys work as a filter that filters the blood when your sugar is out of whack.1

I've been dealing with high blood pressure for years as well. I learned that narrowing blood vessels caused by high blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time.1

It was stressful for me when my doctor told me about my type 2 diabetes. It was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. It never dawned on me that having one disease could lead to another. My care team explained it to me using some medical terms. Then, I was even more confused.

Putting kidney disease in simpler terms

If you are also facing the same situation and are still confused about the connection between diabetes and CKD, then I'll try to explain it to you in a simple way.

In school, we've probably all studied science. There was a chapter in our science books related to our bodies, explaining how organs function. Do you remember the term nephrons? Nephrons are the small units that make up the kidneys. The nephrons filter your blood and remove additional wastes, which eventually become urine.2

With diabetes, stabilizing blood sugar is key. If glucose stays in your blood instead of breaking down, it can act like a poison and damage the nephrons over time.3

The importance of managing your blood sugar

So, I'm telling you today to ensure you manage your blood sugar to lower your risk of developing kidney disease. And remember to keep those routine doctor appointments.

My doctor told me that age also contributes to chronic kidney disease risk. I don't want to think about this one. If we live long enough, we will all get old. We all know that we can get illness at any age, but we can take some measures to avoid it. If you already have diabetes and don't want it to affect your kidneys, it's essential to manage your diabetes properly.

Making positive changes

It's never too late to make some positive changes for your health. For me, sticking to a nutritious and balanced eating plan has worked well to help me manage type 2 diabetes. I don't take any medication for diabetes, but that doesn't mean I don't have diabetes.

Ask your doctor if they could run some kidney tests for you. This is just for assurance that everything is good and in control. Other than daily monitoring, you should also keep yourself fit both mentally and physically. If you can't do heavy exercise, try some light and enjoyable physical activities.

My last suggestion is to be aware of what kind of medicine you are taking and how it could impact other organ functions. Unfortunately, some medications can negatively affect other organs, depending on many factors.

Just remember, you are not alone on this journey.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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