Looking after my kidney health

The kidneys play a vital role in the daily workings of your body. Your kidneys help clean your blood and pass waste out of your body as urine (wee)

Kidney and bladder damage is a complication of diabetes. You may not know you have kidney problems until the damage is done, which is why prevention is so important. You can protect your kidney health by controlling your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising and drinking plenty of water.

People with diabetes should have a kidney health checks every year. Your doctor can help.


Incontinence is a term that describes any accidental or involuntary loss of urine (wee) from the bladder or faeces (poo)  from the bowel. 

Changing blood sugar levels or long-term type 2 diabetes can cause damage to nerves, which can lead to problems with bladder and bowel control. This can make it hard to feel if your bladder or bowel is full or empty. This can put you at greater risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney damage or constipation.

Some key things you can do are:

  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Drink water to satisfy your thirst, avoiding caffienated and fizzy drinks
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep your pelvic floor toned- this 5 minute video from the continence foundation can help 
  • Practise good toilet habits - go to the toilet when you feel the urge. Empty your bladder when it feels full and avoid going to the toilet 'just in case' 

Where to get help

Call the Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066  to speak to a continence nurse advisor

Download the Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise app to both help prevent incontinence and manage incotinence to avoid embarrassing accidents

There are lots of resources on the web about kidney health:

What your kidneys do

Diabetes and kidney failure

My Kidneys My Health handbook

Continence directory  - This directory enables you to search for a continence service provider.  It is important to remember that there are many different types of service providers however, and that your doctor, or a continence nurse advisor on the National Continence Helpline is recommended to help determine the most suitable health professional / service provider to meet your needs. Please note that this directory is not exhaustive, as it excludes medical specialists and service providers who do not wish to be listed online.  The service providers listed may also require a referral from your doctor.