Managing Kidney Disease and Diabetes

by Lauren Phillips, MS, RD, LDN, Renal Dietitian

How  diabetes contributes to kidney disease

High blood sugars can cause blood vessel damage which leads to organ damage. This damage impacts how well your kidneys are able to work.

How do I slow down diabetes contributing to my kidney disease?

Properly managing your diabetes can help slow the progression of your kidney disease. Here are five ways you can take control.

Monitor Blood Glucose levels

Maintain your blood glucose levels between 80 mg/dL and 160 mg/dL or 4.4 mmol/L and 8.9 mmol/L. 

Discuss with your physician if they want you to maintain a stricter blood glucose level range.

Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c)

Keep your HgbA1c at 7% or less for optimal blood sugar control, unless otherwise determined by your physician – meeting 7% means your blood glucose levels are staying around 160 mg/dL or less (8.9 mmol/L or less).

Your hemoglobin A1c is a number your doctor will check every 3 months to see how your blood glucose levels are averaging over time.

Discuss your diet with your dietitian.

Make sure you are not overeating carbohydrates. With your dietician, discuss portion sizes of carbohydrates and how frequently to consume these foods to maintain blood glucose levels.

Inquire with your dietician about what counts as a carbohydrate. These are foods like fruit, fruit juice, starchy vegetables, and bread products to name a few – there might be some foods that surprise you! Check out this excellent article exploring some Common Misconceptions of the Renal Diet


Weight loss can help you manage your diabetes and your kidney disease. If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor before doing physical activity or starting any new exercise regimen.


Diabetic medication

Take all diabetic medication as prescribed and check your blood glucose levels as often as the doctor recommends.

Taking medications properly and checking blood glucose levels as advised can help the doctor decide if a medication is working for you.


Medication for Blood Pressure Control

Take your blood pressure medications as prescribed by your doctor. Keeping your blood pressure under control can help prevent further damage to your blood vessels and kidneys.

high blood pressure medication

By keeping on top of your blood glucose levels, maintaining the proper diet, exercising, and taking your medications you can successfully control your diabetes and slow the effects of it on your kidney disease. 

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. KidneyChef urges you to seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. KidneyChef advises you to never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Website.If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or local emergency service immediately. KidneyChef does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the website. KidneyChef does not guarantee the accuracy of information on the Website and reliance on any information provided by KidneyChef is solely at your own risk.


KDOQI Clinical Practice Guideline for Diabetes and CKD: 2012 Update


Pocket Guide to Nutrition Assessment of the Patient with Kidney Disease – A Concise, Practical Resource for Comprehensive Nutrition Care in Kidney Disease 5th Edition, Linda McCann, RDN, CSR, Editor




Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

About us

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit  curae consequat rhoncus netus dapibus  sodales dapibus ridiculus.

Getting better starts mental health