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Acknowledging #NationalDiabetesMonth in the Northwest

According to the National Kidney Foundation, diabetes is one of the main causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Type 1 diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, where type 2 diabetes limits the body’s ability to use insulin. This causes too much sugar or glucose to remain in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, among other serious health complications.

Startlingly, 30% of people with Type 1 diabetes and 10-40% of people with Type 2 diabetes will eventually suffer from CKD.

November is National Diabetes Month, and at NW Kidney Council, we want all Oregonians and Washingtonians to be prepared by knowing the symptoms and knowing how to control diabetes so that it does not lead to CKD.

Know the symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes symptoms are wide-ranging and can materialize as tingling in the hands and feet, blurred vision, frequent night-time urination, unexplained weight loss or infection, among others.

People who have Type 1 diabetes may also have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains. Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop in just a few weeks or months and can be severe. Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood, teenage years, or as a young adult, but can happen at any age. For those with Type 2 diabetes, symptoms typically begin in adults although the CDC reports increasingly young Americans are being diagnosed.

Controlling diabetes

People who have been diagnosed with diabetes should always consult their doctor throughout their care routine; however, there are a few tips that may be helpful in the daily life of a diabetes patient:

  • Keep blood sugar levels even throughout the day by eating meals at the same time each day, and with similar levels of carbohydrates.

  • Always have a snack on hand and do not skip meals.

  • Check your blood sugar every day.

While statistics show that diabetics are more likely to develop CKD, there are actions they can take to limit that risk. Quitting smoking, starting exercise routines, and eating healthier are all good steps but the most important thing diabetics can do is get tested for kidney disease.


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