Good Diabetes Control is Key to Kidney Health

Industry: Healthcare

Intermountain Health doctors encourage diabetes awareness and kidney health during March is Kidney Month

Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) March 20th, 2023

March is National Kidney Awareness Month, and diabetes management is an important way for individuals to maintain their kidney health.

Most people have two functioning kidneys, which filter wastes and toxins from the blood and regulate the body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. Unfortunately, one in three Americans are at risk of kidney disease due to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

“Kidneys play an extremely important role in our bodies. They clean our blood by filtering out waste products and maintaining a normal fluid and electrolyte balance. The rest of the organs in our bodies depend on the kidneys to function properly,” said Christopher Jones, MD, medical director for Diabetes Care at Intermountain Health.

“Poorly controlled diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels in your kidneys, leading to reduced kidney function and eventually result in kidney failure,” said Dr. Jones. “Kidney damage can also cause high blood pressure, which further increases risk of damaging the important yet delicate filtering system of the body.”

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have high blood sugar (or glucose) levels but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. If untreated, prediabetic patients have a 50% risk of progressing into needing full diabetes management in approximate five years.

Dr. Jones explained being screened is the only way to determine if a person has prediabetes. Intermountain offers an online prediabetes screening tool for the public to assess risk of prediabetes and diabetes at

The screening tool has some fairly basic, but important, questions that people can answer to assess their risk. The Intermountain prediabetes screening test include questions such as age, body mass, family history and personal activity level.

If an individual is at risk, it’s recommended they talk to their healthcare provider. Together, individuals and their doctor can develop a plan to minimize their risk of kidney failure.

There are some simple things that everyone can do to prevent diabetes and improve your health:

  1. Be active: Park a little further away from the office or grocery store, take a few laps around the living room rather than go right back to the couch, don’t stop at your mailbox, head to the neighbors and get a few extra steps in! Look for opportunities each day to move a bit more! 10 minutes of activity, like a brisk walk, done three times a day is the goal.
  2. Lose some weight: Losing just 5% of your body weight can make a huge difference in preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes. For someone who is 200 pounds that means about 10 pounds. While still a challenge, it’s one you can achieve!
  3. Get screened: Know your risk factors for prediabetes and then do something about them. Your primary care doctor can perform a simple blood test called an A1C which can assess your risk.
  4. Take a look at your diet: Switching one sugary treat for a fruit can help you feel better and get you on the path to improving all the other things you are working on. Consider swapping out some bread, pasta, and cereal for fruits and vegetables. Small changes add up to big differences!
  5. Get help: Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your risk of prediabetes. Additional screening with a blood test can confirm the diagnosis and launch you toward prevention. Ask your provider for assistance in linking to diabetes prevention programs.

You can learn more about kidney disease and treatment at or by calling 1-833-754-3639.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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