You have questions. We have answers.
Q: What is the difference between chronic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes (CKD in T2D), diabetic kidney disease, and diabetic nephropathy?
A: Chronic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes, diabetic kidney disease, and diabetic nephropathy are different names for the same condition.
Q: What is the difference between a UACR and an eGFR test?
A: A UACR test uses a urine sample to determine if the kidneys are damaged by detecting any protein in the urine, which is one of the earliest indicators of CKD or kidney damage. An eGFR test uses a blood sample to measure the amount of kidney function.
Q: I get a urine test when I visit my doctor. Is this a UACR?
A: Not all urine samples are tested for UACR. A UACR urine test checks for protein in the urine, which is one of the earliest indicators of CKD or kidney damage. Ask your doctor about taking a UACR so you will be able to detect CKD in T2D as early as possible and have time to get ahead of any further damage to your kidneys.
Q: I have my latest lab test results. How do I know if they are good or bad?
A: A UACR test result:
- of 30 mg/g or less indicates a normal amount of protein in your urine
- above 30 mg/g may mean you have kidney damage
An eGFR test result:
- 60 or higher is in the normal range
- less than 60 may indicate a loss of kidney function
Speak with your healthcare provider about your test results and next steps.
Q: How often should I take a UACR test?
A: You should ask your healthcare provider for a urine test called a UACR test at least once a year, to check for kidney damage.
Protein in urine
Q: My doctor said that I have “leaky kidneys.” What does this mean?
A: If your kidneys are damaged by inflammation and scarring, they can’t filter the small proteins, called albumin, out of the blood and protein will “leak” from the kidneys into your urine.
Q: Is it bad to have protein in my urine?
A: Healthy kidneys don’t allow protein to pass into the urine. Protein in the urine can indicate that your kidneys are not functioning properly and you are at risk for developing CKD.
Risks of developing chronic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes (CKD in T2D)
Q: I have a relative with CKD in T2D and who is on dialysis. Am I more likely to get CKD?
A: Family history of kidney disease may increase your risk of developing CKD in T2D.
Q: My A1C is well controlled. Am I still at risk for CKD in T2D?
A: Even people with well-controlled A1C can develop CKD in T2D.
Q: Can high blood pressure increase my risk of CKD in T2D?
A: High blood pressure can cause CKD and CKD can cause high blood pressure.
Kidney dialysis and kidney transplant
Q: When does someone diagnosed with CKD need to go on dialysis?
A: You will need to start dialysis when you reach end-stage kidney disease. Early detection is important because there are steps you can take to delay progression.
Q: Am I going to end up on dialysis?
A: CKD in T2D is a chronic disease, which means that it will gradually worsen and you may need kidney dialysis, but there are things you can do to help protect your heart and kidneys, so it is important to get tested early and talk to your doctor about steps you can take to delay progression.
Q: How will I know when it’s time for dialysis?
A: When you reach end-stage kidney disease, which is stage 5 CKD, and your kidneys can no longer function on their own, you will need kidney dialysis or a transplant to live.
Q: Will a kidney transplant cure my CKD?
A: A kidney transplant won’t cure CKD. There is no cure for CKD. A kidney transplant improves quality of life and helps you live longer.
Q: What are the symptoms of CKD in T2D?
A: There usually are no symptoms of CKD in T2D until it has caused serious kidney damage and in some cases it is necessary to get dialysis or transplant in order to survive. This is why it’s important to get ahead of any kidney damage by taking a urine test, called a UACR, once a year.
Progression of chronic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes (CKD in T2D)
Q: How can I prevent progression of CKD in T2D?
A: There are steps you can take to delay progression and prevent further kidney damage. Be sure to talk to your doctor.
Q: How quickly does CKD in T2D progress?
A: Progression of CKD in T2D depends on many factors and is different for everybody. The earlier you know if you have CKD, the more you can do to delay progression.
Q: Is there a cure for CKD?
A: Once you develop CKD you cannot cure or reverse it. There are steps you can take to slow the progression of the disease. Be sure to talk to your doctor.
Q: What can I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
A: There are a number of things you can do to slow the progression of CKD in T2D and maintain your kidney health, including managing other health conditions and making dietary and lifestyle changes.