Mak­ing Your Kid­neys a Pri­or­ity With Type 2 Di­a­betes


When it comes to man­ag­ing your type 2 di­a­betes, are you con­sid­er­ing your kid­ney health? Up to one in two peo­ple with di­a­betes will ex­pe­ri­ence signs of kid­ney dam­age in their life­time.¹ Michael Chap­man* un­der­stands the im­pact type 2 di­a­betes can have on the kid­neys and en­cour­ages oth­ers to make their kid­neys a pri­or­ity be­fore it’s too late. Michael was di­ag­nosed with type 2 di­a­betes when he was 40 and had been show­ing signs of kid­ney dam­age. The kid­neys’ main job is to fil­ter the blood to keep a healthy bal­ance of wa­ter, salts and min­er­als.² If this bal­ance isn’t main­tained, nerves, mus­cles and other tis­sues may not work as well as they should.³ High blood sugar lev­els from di­a­betes can dam­age the kid­neys’ blood ves­sels,² mak­ing it harder for the kid­neys to main­tain this bal­ance.⁴ Michael knew that un­con­trolled di­a­betes could poorly im­pact his over­all health and lead to com­pli­ca­tions, but man­ag­ing his diet and mon­i­tor­ing his blood sugar were an in­con­ve­nience in his busy life. “It was never an im­por­tant thing. Now it’s the only thing. Ev­ery­thing in my life to­day re­volves around di­a­betes and kid­ney disease.” Ap­prox­i­mately 10 years af­ter his di­a­betes di­ag­no­sis, Michael was ad­mit­ted to the hospi­tal with con­ges­tive heart fail­ure, where doc­tors dis­cov­ered his kid­ney func­tion had been de­te­ri­o­rat­ing. Kid­ney disease of­ten goes un­no­ticed un­til it’s ad­vanced.¹ “It’s a si­lent, sor­did disease. It’s not like you have any pain, but it re­quires con­stant check­ing.” Four years later, Michael’s kid­neys were fail­ing and tox­ins were build­ing up in his body. He started dial­y­sis to clean his blood, a 10-hour treat­ment he needs daily un­til he has a kid­ney trans­plant.

His ex­pe­ri­ence is an im­por­tant re­minder of the sig­nif­i­cance of man­ag­ing type 2 di­a­betes. “The most im­por­tant thing I wish I’d done dif­fer­ently was taken my di­a­betes se­ri­ously and lis­tened to my physi­cian. You don’t re­al­ize the dam­age that it’s do­ing to you.” Test­ing can help iden­tify kid­ney disease ear­lier, which is crit­i­cal to re­duc­ing the chance of pro­gres­sion to an ad­vanced stage where dial­y­sis or trans­plant may be re­quired. Di­a­betes Canada rec­om­mends that those with type 2 di­a­betes be screened an­nu­ally for kid­ney disease with a sim­ple blood and urine test.⁵ If you have di­a­betes, talk to your doc­tor about pro­tect­ing your kid­neys as part of your di­a­betes man­age­ment plan. Here are some ques­tions you may ask at your next ap­point­ment: Has my kid­ney func­tion been tested re­cently?

If so, what were my re­sults?

How of­ten should I have my kid­ney func­tion tested? What is a good kid­ney test re­sult for me?

Am I at risk of de­vel­op­ing kid­ney dam­age?

Could any di­etary or life­style changes be ben­e­fi­cial for my kid­neys?

Would al­ter­ing my med­i­ca­tions help to sup­port my kid­neys? Spon­sored by Janssen Inc.

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