March is National Kidney Month, a good time to review the risks of kidney disease for people with diabetes. Diabetes is actually the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease in the U.S., and 20 to 30 percent of people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes will develop the early signs of kidney disease.
But there are things you can do to minimize your risk. First of all, be sure to have a urine test for microalbuminuria every year. And be aware of the six warning signs of kidney and urinary tract disease:
- Burning or difficulty during urination
- More frequent urination, particularly at night
- Passage of bloody-appearing urine
- Puffiness around the eyes, swelling of hands and feet, especially in children
- Pain in the small of the back, just below the ribs (not aggravated by movement)
- High blood pressure
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away.