Diabetes and chronic kidney disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), accounting for 44% percent of new cases.1 Diabetes can damage small blood vessels throughout the body, affecting the kidneys as well as other organs and tissues.

What is CKD?

Chronic kidney disease refers to the gradual loss of kidney function. Kidneys filter waste and excess fluid from the blood, which are then excreted in urine. When CKD reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and waste can build up in the body.

In the early stages of CKD, you may not have many signs or symptoms. CKD may not become apparent until kidney function is significantly impaired. Some of the signs that people with diabetes may be developing CKD include:

  • Protein in the urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Leg swelling or cramps
  • Increased need to urinate, especially at night
  • Abnormal blood tests (glomerular filtration rate, GFR)
  • Less need for insulin or anti-diabetic pills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Pallor and anemia

Treatment for CKD aims to slow the progression of kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause—like diabetes. Without proper treatment or detection, CKD can progress to end-stage renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Testing for CKD

Quest offers the tests your doctor needs to assess and monitor diabetes and CKD. Testing combined with early treatment can slow the progression of kidney damage and associated complications.

Are you at risk?

Know what’s ahead. Talk to your doctor about how
Quest Diagnostics testing can help you take control of diabetes.
Learn more below.

Are you at risk for diabetes? Read more
Preparing for your test visit
How to request a test

1. National Kidney Foundation. Diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Jan 2016. Available at Accessed June 7, 2017.