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Diabetic Kidney Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the gradual and permanent loss of kidney function. This occurs because of kidney damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Normally, the kidneys remove fluid, chemicals, and waste from your blood. These wastes are turned into urine by your kidneys. When you have DKD, your kidneys do not function properly.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


A dietitian may tell you to eat foods low in protein and sodium (salt).

Intake and output:

Care team providers will keep track of the amount of liquid you are receiving each day. They also may need to know how much you are urinating. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day.


You may be weighed each day. Care team providers will compare your weight from day to day to see how much fluid you are gaining or losing.


  • Blood pressure medicine is given to lower your blood pressure and protect your kidneys.
  • Diuretics are given to decrease excess fluid and lower blood pressure. You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.


  • Blood and urine tests show how well your kidneys are working. They may also help manage or show the cause of your DKD.
  • A biopsy is a procedure to remove and test a small piece of tissue from your kidney. It may be done to make sure there are no other causes of your kidney disease.


  • Dialysis is a treatment to remove chemicals and waste from your blood when kidneys can no longer do this.
  • Surgery may be needed to create an arteriovenous fistula (AVF) in your arm or insert a catheter into your abdomen or chest. This is done so you can receive dialysis.
  • A kidney transplant may be done if your DKD becomes severe.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options


Diabetic kidney disease can cause your kidneys to stop working. You may need dialysis or a kidney transplant.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.