Diabetic kidney disease, also called diabetic nephropathy, happens when high blood sugar damages your kidneys. Your kidneys are full of tiny blood vessels called glomeruli. These blood vessels help clean your blood. Too much sugar in your blood can hurt these blood vessels. Once your kidneys have been damaged by diabetes, they cannot be fixed. If diabetic kidney disease is not treated early, the damage can get worse over time and it can lead to kidney failure.

You will not be able to feel if diabetes has harmed your kidneys. The only way to know is to be tested. Learn more about the tests for kidney disease.