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.