What is it?

High blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys. Undiagnosed kidney damage can lead to serious health issues. You might develop kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to keep you alive.

Kidney damage is often ‘silent’. This means that you may not have any symptoms. That’s why it’s important to have a kidney check at least once a year. If kidney disease is found early, treatment can improve the life of your kidneys.


What will my GP do?

At your annual kidney check, your GP may:

  • Do a kidney health check (usually blood and urine test)
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Check your blood sugar and cholesterol (blood test)
  • Prescribe or adjust medication if necessary
  • Refer you to a specialist if there is a serious problem with your kidney function.

Your GP may also review and recommend changes to your lifestyle, such as your diet and regular activity.


What can I do?

  • Keep your annual GP appointments, even if you feel well.
  • Remember that you may not feel unwell even if there is some kidney damage.
  • Keep your blood glucose levels within the target range, as this helps protect your kidneys from the damage caused by high glucose levels. Stay active and exercise regularly.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of water and lower your salt intake.
  • Stop smoking and phone Quitline on 137 848.
  • Ask your GP to check your blood pressure regularly.