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Maintaining Good Diabetes Control

If you have diabetes, the key to overall good health is controlling your daily blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, taking medication such as insulin or diabetes pills is not enough to manage your blood sugar levels when you have kidney disease. Below are recommendations that can help you control your diabetes if you have kidney disease.

1. Follow a diet designed for diabetes and kidney disease management. 

  • Eat a variety of high-quality proteins, starches, fruits and vegetables (low in potassium if prescribed).
  • Eat fewer salty and high-sodium foods.
  • Eat less fat.
    • Bake, broil, roast and grill meat, seafood or poultry instead of frying.
    • Look for "reduced fat" on the label.

2. Designate meal times.

  • Don't skip meals.
  • Eat meals at about the same time each day.

3. Follow the recommended serving sizes. 

  • Learn correct serving sizes and how to read food labels.
  • Measure or weigh foods until you can accurately estimate serving sizes.

4. Balance your carbohydrate intake (carbohydrates turn into glucose during digestion).

  • Avoid simple sugars, such as jelly, honey, sugar, syrup, jam, cookies, candy and cake.
  • Limit starches, including rice, pasta, cereal and bread.
  • Include more carbohydrate from whole foods than refined sugars.

5. Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Ask your dietitian to help you determine a healthy weight for you.
  • Exercise regularly.

6. Know your numbers when controlling diabetes.

  • Check your blood sugar levels at least three times a day or the frequency recommended by your health care team.
  • If you take rapid-acting insulin before each meal, you may need to check blood sugar before each meal to determine how much insulin to take.
  • Track your blood sugar numbers in a logbook.
  • Talk to your doctor if you experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as medication adjustments may be required.
  • Know your hemoglobin A1C (A1C) level so you can identify how well you are managing your blood sugar levels over time.

Take control of your diabetes and kidney health

If you have diabetes and kidney disease, it's important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Although it can be a challenge, there is a lot that you can do to achieve good blood sugar control. Talk with your doctor and dietitian to set your specific health goals. The more you manage your diabetes, the more likely it is that you'll be healthier and feel better.