Diabetes complications: Diabetes can damage the kidneys

Diabetes complications: Diabetes can damage the kidneys

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Diabetes sufferers often have kidney problems

According to experts, more than seven million people with diabetes live in Germany. Again and again it is pointed out that the so-called diabetes can also go hand in hand with a number of secondary diseases. For example, kidney damage often occurs. To avoid this, medical examinations are advised - and a healthier lifestyle.

People with diabetes often have kidney problems. And kidney sufferers in many cases have undetected diabetes. This is what the German Diabetes Society (DDG) points out in a current announcement. Therefore, if you have kidney problems, you should also check your blood sugar.

Dangerous complications

According to an analysis from last year, around 7.6 million people in Germany are affected by diabetes.

The disease can lead to numerous secondary diseases. Often, diabetes causes diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as a heart attack or chronic heart failure, over time. The kidneys are also affected.

Diabetes mellitus is the most common cause of kidney failure - over 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have kidney damage, according to the DDG.

Some of these patients need a new kidney. However, a transplant is often out of the question for those affected due to existing comorbidities. For them, lifelong dialysis (blood washing) is essential.

Kidney sufferers often suffer from undetected diabetes

And kidney sufferers often have undetected diabetes. According to the private lecturer Dr. med. Martina Guthoff, nephrologist and senior physician in the Kidney and Hypertension Diseases section at the Medical Clinic IV in Tübingen, shows examinations that "approximately one in three on the waiting list for kidney transplantation has previously unknown diabetes or prediabetes".

Early detection of diabetes and kidney disease is therefore essential to protect those affected from kidney damage and possibly a transplant or lifelong dialysis.

According to the expert, all kidney patients should also be tested for diabetes.

"In order to be able to diagnose possible kidney problems in good time and treat them consistently, patients with diabetes should be screened for the presence of protein in the urine - the so-called albuminuria - at least once a year," explains Dr. Ludwig Merker from the MVZ DaVita Diabetes and Kidney Center Dormagen in the DDG release.

In addition, it is important for all patients with diabetes to determine the eGFR value, which represents the filtration properties of the kidney. "The blood pressure should also be checked regularly, as an increase can indicate that kidney damage is beginning," says the chairman of DDG AG "Diabetes and Kidney".

What affected people can do themselves

At the same time, targeted diabetes and blood pressure therapy should be carried out for those affected, which ensures stable blood sugar levels and good blood pressure.

Because permanently elevated blood sugar and blood pressure are the main risk factors for kidney damage, according to the DDG.

“Every patient can also contribute something for good kidney function. It is particularly effective when diabetes patients reduce their weight, do not smoke and eat a healthy diet, ”explains Merker. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • German Diabetes Society (DDG): Day of organ donation on June 6, 2020: Early diagnosis of diabetes can prevent kidney damage and possibly transplants, (accessed: June 7, 2020), German Diabetes Society (DDG)

Video: How can Diabetes affect your Kidneys? (August 2022).