Do you have prediabetes? New research shows the risk to your kidneys

You may or may not know this, but diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease – around 30% of

You may or may not know this, but diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease – around 30% of people with type 1 diabetes and 10-40% of those with type 2 diabetes will go on to experience kidney failure.

However it is new research that has found that even before a diabetes diagnosis, higher-than-normal blood sugar levels could be causing kidney damage, i.e. prediabetes may be a precursor to kidney disease.

Study coauthor Dr. Toralf Melsom, of the Department of Nephrology at University Hospital of North Norway, and colleagues published their findings in the American Journal of Kidney Disease.

Around 1 million people in Australia have prediabetes, a condition diagnosed when blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes.

Someone with prediabetes is likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 10 years unless they change their diet and exercise regime.

For this latest study, the team measured the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), fasting glucose (FG) levels and/or HbA1c levels of 1,324 adults aged 50-62 in order to gain a better understanding of whether prediabetes is linked to kidney damage.

In the study, the presence of prediabetes among study participants was assessed at the beginning of the study and subjects were followed-up for a median of 5.6 years. 595 of the participants had prediabetes.

After adjusting for participants’ lifestyle and use of medications, the researchers found those with prediabetes had a higher mGFR during follow-up than those without prediabetes – a sign of hyperfiltration in the kidneys.

What is more, the researchers found that high FG levels at baseline among these subjects were associated with high levels of the protein albumin in the urine during follow-up – an early sign of kidney disease.

Dr. Melsom said, “Our research shows that the pathological process of kidney injury caused by elevated blood glucose levels starts in prediabetes, well before the onset of diabetes.

“[This means] prediabetes may be a target for early intervention to prevent chronic kidney disease (CKD) caused by hyperglycemia.

“If a patient has borderline elevated glucose levels found by their primary physician they should start lifestyle changes with respect to diet and physical activity to preventing diseases like diabetes and kidney disease”.

Do you have prediabetes? What steps are you taking to avoid a diabetes diagnosis?


    • Thank you for the laugh. If we weren’t depressed before, they are surely trying to bring it on.

  1. I have twice in the last 12 months, the first time was a combination of tests and I did not realize I could not eat anything if they tested for diabetes so I ate 2 anzac biscuits before the test. It showed my blood sugar was slightly high. So the doctor sent me back for another blood test. I am a woose, I feint at the sight of blood especially MINE ! but my blood sugar levels tested fine the second time around..whew, I was ready to run away and hide of I had to have another one 🙂

    • me too Libbi I,ve lost a stone and still going down ,its the three month test that count ask the doc for one ,he might not have the,machine that does it so he will send you too a clinic it dont hurt a bit its just in your finger I never even felt it and they do both now and three months at the same time with the same stab .

  2. Anyone who doesn’t have diabetes is pre diabetic. They’ve lowered the parameters for the test too. Also, if you take statins, you are sure to get diabetes within 12 months.

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  4. Am prediabetic and have changed my eating regime and increased my activity levels. My specialist also gives me Diabex medication as a preventative. So far, all good for me, my main health issue is Sjogrens syndrome and the many and varied form this takes for me and my family.

  5. The drug companies will say and do anything to sell you a pill , I see a big caution light there

    • Diabetes can have terrible side effects. It is not a disease to ignore as it will not go away by itself.

    • With proper diet , yes it will , see they’ve got you believing as well

      • Susan Bell  

        Dusty Gray, diet is not the only thing. I have just had a major diabetic incident. When the dieticians went through my diet they changed nothing. Not a thing except to ask me to eat more often. Since I have had preeclampsia twice I have been very careful to protect my kidneys ever since 1969.

  6. It’s important not to scare people, yes the tests are important but most type 2’s don’t have kidney issues. I have been type 2 for over 20 years and blood tests show that my organs are fine, but that’s me, the important thing to do is see your gp and have regular tests.

  7. Diabetes is a disease which is often underestimated. It can cause terrible complications (both type 1 and 2) if not carefully controlled. Never take it lightly. I have type 1 which I developed 15 years ago.

  8. I’ve been a type 2 for 13 years or so. Since I started on Janumet about 3 years ago all my tests have been excellent, everything functioning as it should. However, in the many years before diabeties was diagnosed my bgl never once tested high and I never had pre-diabeties. I got tested from time to time and my bgl never tested above 4mml, it was sometimes under 2.5mml. Anyway even low levels do not mean it will not happen, so get checked every now and then anyway.

  9. This is very interesting, especially the part about pre-diabetes..which I was luckily diagnose with and managed to manage before it got out of control. Diabetes and it is definitely a growing problem not only in the USA but across the world. However, most of the problem is really all about food choices. When I started the Diabetes Escape Plan, I managed to significantly lower my blood sugar and actually lost 10lbs..

    I found the program at

    I would recommend anyone who suffers from Type 2 or even pre-diabetes to take a look at it. The key to living a long healthy life is understanding the effects of what we put into our bodies and what we need to do to improve.

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