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Kidney Health (Nephrology)

"We strive to prevent or detect problems early, when we can slow or stop damage to these vital organs," says Robert C. Stanton, M.D., who heads up a team of renal specialists at Joslin.

A common complication for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes is kidney disease. Blood vessel changes in the kidney’s filtering system can affect the kidney’s ability to filter wastes.

But early discovery of problems and aggressive treatment up the odds that you can keep your kidneys healthy. Tight blood glucose and blood pressure control can prevent or at least slow the development and progression of kidney disease.

Detect Problems Early

One of the earliest signs of a problem is the presence of a protein called albumin in your urine. A substance called creatinine increases in your blood too if your kidneys are not functioning properly. Usually you don’t feel any symptoms in the early stages of kidney disease—so it is important to have urine and blood tests yearly.

Without treatment, the disease will progress through stages, ending in kidney failure. Once the kidneys have failed, dialysis (a method of removing wastes from the blood) or a kidney transplant must be done to survive.

What We Can Do

Specialists in our clinic can monitor the health of your kidneys and treat any problems that arise. If your kidney disease has advanced, we can help you get home, outpatient or inpatient dialysis services.

In addition to working closely with the diabetologists in the Joslin Clinic, we also collaborate with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on a kidney transplant program.

Page last updated: November 07, 2019