Community Views: The Biggest Challenge of Living With Both CKD and Type 2 Diabetes
Last updated: October 2023
Symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) or type 2 diabetes can be challenging to live with. But having to deal with both diseases can change your life. Research shows that CKD is very common in people with diabetes. In fact, roughly 1 in 3 people living with diabetes also have CKD.1
To learn more about the challenges of living with both chronic conditions, we reached out to community members on the Chronic-Kidney-Disease.net Facebook page. There, we asked, “What is the biggest challenge of living with both conditions?”
More than 30 community members responded to our prompt to vent about their frustrations and struggles.
Are you living with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease?
Maintaining a healthy diet
One of the biggest challenges of living with both CKD and type 2 diabetes is eating the right foods. Maintaining a balanced combination of healthy foods and the right amount of liquids is hard when dietary recommendations for each condition vary.2
Working with a registered dietitian with experience in both CKD and type 2 diabetes nutrition can help remove a lot of the guesswork from your day-to-day diet. Together, you can create a nutrition plan that fits your health needs and includes foods and drinks you enjoy.2
“I eat some fruits, vegetables, chicken, and fish as well as water to drink and some cranberry juice. I found out about my kidney disease in August (last year) so I had to start eating better.”
“Diets! As I have both and others, diets don't all include the same things.”
“Combining the right food groups, variety to eat every day. Having both eliminates a lot of good foods that are bad for you. The prices are outrageous as well.”
“Limited food items, and counting everything you eat.”
Which of the following diet considerations do you follow?
Balancing dialysis and blood sugar
Many people living with CKD and type 2 diabetes find that it's hard to balance treatments for both conditions. However, it can be especially hard to balance treatments if you are someone who needs peritoneal dialysis. That is because peritoneal dialysis uses sugar-based solutions. While you need this solution to clean your blood, the solution may spike your blood sugar levels.3
“The dialysis solution makes my sugars high.”
Do you have trouble trying to balance your diet with multiple health conditions?
Juggling medicines, tests, and monitoring
When you live with CKD, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the medicines you need to take, having regular tests to monitor your kidney function, and managing a dialysis schedule. But when you also have type 2 diabetes, it requires a whole different level of juggling. Medicines to lower your blood sugar and regular blood sugar checks need to be added to your treatment plan. This can feel overwhelming on top of managing the many aspects of CKD.
"It's a constant battle."
“Constant labs, doctor’s appointments…”
Do you think there is enough awareness of chronic kidney disease?
Thank you for sharing your viewpoints about living with CKD and type 2 diabetes. Managing both conditions may feel overwhelming, but there are many community members who understand. We hope these experiences have helped you feel validated and supported.
Do you have chronic kidney disease without any symptoms?