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This blog is in response to a reader question about the symptoms of kidney disease that we received about our blog, "With diabetes, kidney care is crucial."
In some people with diabetes, over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the millions of tiny blood vessels that filter waste from the blood and dispose of it in the urine. Unfortunately, early kidney disease has no symptoms. Generally, not until the damage is extensive do symptoms emerge.
Symptoms of advanced kidney disease include:
To identify kidney problems early, an important part of your yearly diabetes management checkup is getting what's called a urine microalbumin test. This test measures the amount of a protein, albumin, in your urine.
When kidneys are functioning normally, they filter out only waste in your blood, excreted in your urine. Protein and other helpful substances remain in your bloodstream. When your kidneys become damaged, waste products remain in your blood, and albumin leaks into your urine.
When your kidneys are in early distress, only small amounts of albumin escape into the bloodstream. You may lose 30 to 300 milligrams (mg) of albumin a day through the urine. This condition is called microalbuminuria. In advanced stages of kidney disease, you might lose more than 300 mg of albumin a day.
The most reliable test to screen for microscopic protein in the urine is to collect the urine in a container for 24 hours. Another available test, the random microalbuminuria test, requires only a one-time sample of urine.
If your health care provider is aware of early kidney disease through such testing, early treatment measures can help prevent or slow down the progression of diabetes-related kidney disease. Treatment measures include:
Your comments are appreciated.
Have a great week,
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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Hi, My name is Colleen. I'm 54, diagnosed with severe gastroparesis November 2013. I lost quite a bit of hair early in 2014. I've since been drinking whey protein and ensure powder mixes twice a day as means of getting my vitamins and nutrients. (I heard protein would help with my hair and skin.) I went to my GI last week for a pain across (left to right) just below my breast with terrible discomfort that effects me at night. GI ordered a stomach ultrasound. I was found to have a small gallstone and a spot on my left kidney. I'm soo scared to see what my urologist is going to say on Monday for my appt. I've had very yellow urine for a while. Not red or dark amber. I thought because of the extra protein is why it was always more yellower than usual. Can you give me an idea if the protein can do that ans what my spot could be? I haven't had any symptoms they've discribed with kidney problems. Now my gallbladder, do they break up the stone(s) or remove it?
Your reply would be greatly appreciated. Thank You kindly,
I have anxiety at night on the bed, urine
also dark coloured (yellow), feeling fatigue and nausia. I want to know that is it connected with renal disease
thank you so much,off late i have been having some health problems cyst,heart palpitation and some swelling around my legs like pimples so i wondered weather it could be connected to kidney failure.
I have HAE & am not supposed to use ace inhibators,any substitutes?
My doctor says my kidneys are slightly compromised. I am a type 1 diabetic. My sugar is under better control since I started the insulin pump two months ago. Can the damage be reversed?
I work on a boat, it is medal an iron. Changes on the water life, swelling discomfort an changes in urin output, sleeping , mood swings should I rethink this job?
Is my health at risk?
What are normal levels for protein in urine?
Hi: My name is Blossom and I would like some information on the function levels of the Kidneys. My mom is 95 and her kidneys have been at a low level for years. 2 weeks ago she got a major case of shingles. My sister took her to the Dr today to see if there was anything they could do for her pain. The Dr checked her file and the reading was 19 which according to my sister is "not functioning". Could you please confirm this for me as well as how low will the reading go before she needs dialysis. Thank you in advance.
I have been battling pain in my left side, I have unquenchable thirst, high blood pressure and , swelling in my foot on my left side. Dry itchy skin and this might be something I need to look into. My grandmother on my dad's side and my uncle on my dad's side both had on set diabetes later in life. I had a very large baby and my grandmother had very large babies. They said this could be a sign of onset diabetes when I get older. I am not in my 40's and wonder if this is what my problem is, with my fatigue, thirst, frequent visits to the bathroom etc. Also the kidney disease could be an issue. Thanks for sharing this article.
Hi Nancy and Peggy,
I read the information about diabetes and kidney disease and it was very informative. I have been a diabetic ten plus years. I am so glad that I took heed to my life because if I did not I would not be here today. I keep my blood sugars down, exercise and eat healthy. It has made a tremendous turn around on my life. I have also lost over hundred pounds. Thanks so much for sharing this article.
I have been dealing with kidney failure for about 6 years. Initially it was stage 3 , but about 15 months ago a mass was found on right kidney. It had to be removed along with 1/4 of that kidney. Kidney functions plunged to stage 4 & now my dr has referred me to donor list. I was so encouraged to have this option, but donor cry informed me I cannot be on their list until suspicious lesions on left kidney have been clarified plus possible liver damage from prior history of hemochrotis have been ruled out. I feel so sad as if I was thrown a life line & now it has been pulled away. I am a very fit & healthy looking female & anyone who doesn't know, would think I am in my 40's or 50's instead of 63.
I am very depressed.
Katie: We recommend that you see your provider here in the USA. We are diabetes educators. You need to be evaluated by your provider for kidney disease. You did not say whether or not you have diabetes.
(continued from previous post)
I have had this same type of pain while urinating in the past. But, just within the last day or two, I also have had a moderate (strong enough to be uncomfortable and annoying) pain under my lower right ribs. I have had this exact same pain before (in the past). I just wondered if any/all of these symptoms I just described in both posts could be related to kidney disease. Again, I did have my kidneys tested in Honduras and the tests said they were perfectly normal and I also had an ultrasound of my kidneys done when I was about 12 (I am now 26) and that came back normal as well. But I'm just wondering if I might have some sort of kidney problem. I would so appreciate any advice or answers you can give!
I just wondered if someone qualified could respond to my post. My mom's side of the family has a history of kidney failure. Since as early as I can remember, I have had "bladder?" issues. I have always had to go pee much more frequently than other people. When I drink something, I have to pee almost immediately afterwards. I have difficulty controlling my bladder. Within the last year, these life-long issues have become much more severe. About 6 months ago, I lost almost all bladder control (during a period of about 1 mo.) and it was really, really scary. Without warning, I would need to pee and could do almost nothing to hold it back. I happened to be living in Honduras at the time, so I went to see a doctor there. I expressed my concerns that I might have kidney problems. He did a urine test and, if I remember correctly, an ultrasound, and said that my kidney was completely normal. He said that the nerves in my bladder are over-sensitive and that is why I have to go pee all the time. He gave me some pills and I did notice a definite difference when taking the pills...I no longer had sudden urges and didn't have nearly as many problems with controlling my bladder. I have since returned to the U.S. and have also used up those pills. I continue to have the same "bladder" issues I have always had, only, not as severe problems with losing bladder control like I did in Honduras. However, within the last week I have had moderate to severe pain when urinating. T
Wonderful Job, very helpfull
Its sad to see so many unanswered questions here. I dearly hope everyone posting here with kidneys injured through Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure will find the courage to tell overweight family members to quit pretending and start loosing weight and living with care right NOW, before they've ruined their bodies. I laughed about my belly, ate processed foods and now am paying the price. Show them your feet, talk of the pain, explain how poor kidneys will limit your life. Diabetes is no joke as there is no cure once the damage is done, only management and compromises. Get a niece or grandson to join you in Weight Watchers, save a younger person today, and give your own kidneys, heart and joints less burden to support. If I can save one or two in my family, that might just be my greatest gift.
i went to the dr. for my routine blood work and for sugar intake the sae day a few hours later the nurse calls and tells me my sugar is stable. around three that evening they called and told me that my 6 mths check up was due. they precided to tell me they found protein in my urine ,ok she started to make the appointmentand she told me to wait and came back and said that they neededto see me on the monday comin up which this was on friday and i am totally scared what should be helpful for me to know.
what if you have few systoms for kidney failure like ,fatigue , uncontrolled diabetes bec of other meds ,swelling of feet only. Does that mean one has early signs ?
what causes a person with diabetes to not be able to urineate correctly
I know a woman who I believe is in kidney failure. She refuses to see a doctor because of her religious beliefs. My question is this. How long can she live if she is in stage 3 failure. I really need to know because she is very dear to me and I live very far from her. I want to make sure I am near her before something happens. Thank You
When your doctor does a full blood test and urinalysis, will kidney disease show up if present?
My mom is 80 and has Diabetes and her legs and feet are very swollen, the Doctor hasn't seen her in a while, she goes to an Indian Clinic and doesn't seem they care, what should we do? She also has RA and is on Remicade and needs a hip operation and doesn't move around much, we are very concerned.
As a human nutrition student, I have always know the benefits of incorporating dietary fiber into one’s diet. But I always wondered what the dietary fiber requirements were for patients who suffered from a chronic disease, e.g., Chronic Kidney Disease. So I interviewed a fellow researcher and got some insight. There may be potential benefits in lowering the stage of CKD with adequate fiber intake:
My mother has just been diagnosed with 3rd stage kidney disease and has no symptoms. A few months ago her bun creatinine was normal and, now, that and her GFR are very elevated. It happened very quickly.
I am 40 yrs. old, had a transplant at age 7. I have had my kidney for 30 yrs. Recently I could not get my BP down and had a severe headache. One doctor told me I should not jump into dialysis and another doc., a nephrologist, said I needed to go on dialysis. I ended up on dialysis the next day even though this is not what I wanted. I had had this situation before and got the headache under control but this time I ended up in the hospital 24 hrs but they did not do the 24 hour urine clearance or let me just see how I would do without dialysis. The nephrologist insisted that I go to dialysis and now I have all this medicine, all the symptoms you can think of with kidney failure but still urinate. I have not slept in two years and now have swollen feet. I've never had swollen feet before and am wondering if I am worse off as I've lost 30 lbs in those years and cannot gain it back. I don't know what to do as I am not getting better but worse. They are giving me 20,000 units of epogen at once and I had a slight cardiovascular problem to where I slurred my speech, my pulse went to over 120 and have a catheter in my juglar vein for over those 2 years. I'm wondering if my nephrologist made a mistake and the other doctor was right. Do you think it would be risky to get off dialysis and see how I do?
Thanks. If I had this to do over, I would never go on dialysis unless I knew for sure this was the right thing. Your life changes in ways you just cannot fathom.
My blood creatinine level went from 1.9 to 2.1. The 1.9 level did not concern my physicians - who consulted with a nephrologist - because I only have one kidney left. Now my blood creatinie level, in just a few months, went to 2.7. However, my 24 hour urine sample shows my creatinine level to be in the normal range? Huh? Which is more important - my blood cretainine level or my 24 hour urine level?
I have Hyperkalemia--Does this disease afect the kidney. My feet and
lower legs feed like they are asleep.
I am not sure what is going on with me. I have a bulging disc in my low back which is pinching my sciatic nerve and I have been in extreme pain for a month now. I have been taking Norco or percoset to control the pain. I have noticed recently that I have swelling on my left side between the ribs and the hip. My left thigh is swollen, my feet are huge, and my face is pretty puffy. The doctor just informed me that my x-ray from a month ago showed that I have kidney stones. Could this be the cause of my swelling? I have never had stones before. A few of my close friends are amazed at how swollen my body is. This is all new to me and not sure when or who to see. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You...
what happens if you are prescribed metformin for type 1 diabetes? When you are on dialysis?
wow very interesting... i sit at a desk every day and i have most of the symptoms including my feet, especially my toes, turning purple at the end of the day. now after reading your info i will make an appt with my doctor. thank you for making this available to everyone.
What is Bilateral renal parenchymal disease
Jan- Insulin is the best choice for controlling the blood glucose with diabetic individuals in chronic renal failure (CRF), if your father is not on insulin he should be. Even on insulin it can be difficult to control the blood glucoses with CRF since the kidneys aren't functioning properly. Follow-up with your provider.
My dad has chronic kidney disease. He also has Diabetes which has become out of control. His blood sugar before a meal is going over 400. His doctor has been adjusting his medications for that but nothing seems to work. Any thoughts or things that worked for anyone out there?
My child got diabetes type 1 from Mono. He/She gets sick often and has problems with being tired. It takes them a long time to get over viruses/infections. A normal person sick 1 day they will be sick 4 -5 days. Since diagnosed every year gets sick at about the same time (mono symptons) and just over all does not feel good. We have done many tests and find nothing. He/She has tested postive for the mono 2 yrs in row, go to specialist and say never had mono. Is their anyone else that this has happened to?
does diabetes cause mood swings?
Kippy, ask for an appointment to see a dietitian. If the kidneys are not working properly, they have a difficult time breaking down protein. You will need to get your energy from other sources then mostly protein.
Kidney disease can be sudden short-term (acute) or progressive long-term (chronic). Check with your physician as to the type of kidney disease you have. Additional tests may need to be done to determine this.
Remember: if interventions are started early they can prevent the onset of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Does coffee drinking cause or contribute to kidney damage?
I have been told by my Kidney Dr. that I need
to have a port installed now. How soon does a person need to have the stomach port for home dialysis when its time for dialysis?
What type of Doctor does this type of surgery?
As with the previous commenters, I find it difficult to balance more than one health issue and be good to my kidneys. I take Lisonopril to help with High Blood Pressure and fluid retention. I take Levothyroxine for Hypothyroidism. I take Metformin and need insulin to help control my Type 2 Diabetes. I take Simvistation to help with with Cholesterol issues. I need Advair, Singulair and Albuterol to manage my Athsma. The Amitriptyline is prescribed to help me sleep, manage pain better and treat mild depression. I take Tetracycline every day to prevent skin infections. I take Cyclobenzaprine and Tramadol to help lessen the relentless pain and muscle tension from Neuropathy and Fibromyalgia. I check my glucose levels at least 5 times a day to try to manage them closely. I take doctor prescribed CoQ10, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and a MultiVitamin. It's a full time job to keep track of taking pills and other meds. I'm exhausted. I sleep poorly. I barely have time and energy for family and pets. I don't think I'll ever be able to have a social life again. And I don't know what to do to further improve my situation. Thanks for your time.
When I first learned that I have severe kidney disease I was grossly over weight. My sodium intake was reduced and I lost over 40 pounds. I went from borderline stage 5 kidney disease to borderline 3/4. I also have chronic anemia which I have been told is one of the things that can and does go along with the kidney. I receive a shot every 3 weeks to stimulate my body to make blood, which it no longer does without the stimulation of the shot. These are just some things I have experienced that you might want to discuss with your doctor. My nephrologiest tells me that he and others in his group and seen good improvement in their patients who receive arenesp. I see a hemotologist for the anemia.
please advice my on a kidney diet , i was told not to eat green food , i work , so i need to remain strong SO I EAT PROTEIN
i have high blood pressure and take pills ,
I had back surgery so i was on a lot of pills that i am not taking now due to the problem with the kidney i hurt bad
all over and i do not know if this is due to the kidney or something else
I am not able to control my blood pressure even with 2 pills i am around 178 over 98 with drugs
or i go lower like 107 over 82
my kidney is now in a lower function due to high blood pressure and pain pills , i have stopped many or the doctor order pain pills but do take Tylenol 1 and sleeping pills
i now have head acnes daily
how do i balance my blood pressure so i can hold my kidney where it is and not get worst I am 58 and work physicality hard as i own my own business and stress is high i do yoga and work out
any advise is welcome
From early on, my friend and sometimes my self have relied on "eating" pain relievers for the pain in our knees. Surgery was her best replacement for her pain and she has not relied on them since. Recently talking with her, her kidney function is much lower than it should be and she is now seeing a kidney specialist. She told him of her 10 yrs of taking Advil for the pain and could that have been the start of her diminished kidney function? She said he said yes... Now I am worried that I am doing damage also. I have no symtoms and not diabetic. I can not have a knee replacement yet. Where are we trapped in OTC drugs?
She is not diabetic either but her kidney function is now
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