Symptoms of kidney disease aren't noticeable until you have chronic kidney disease, which leads to kidney failure. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, which accounts for nearly 44 percent of new cases and affects over 100,00 Americans every year. Nearly a third of people with diabetes will develop kidney disease, and you're more likely to be in this group if you have type 1 diabetes as opposed to type 2 diabetes.

Your kidneys are essential for filtering toxins out of your body. When they're damaged, waste products re-enter your blood, and essential nutrients get eliminated in your urine. Because the majority of people with diabetes don't develop chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, we know it can be prevented.

Some people with diabetes may develop a sense of complacency if they don't have any warning signs. But, symptoms of kidney disease aren't noticeable right away; they begin to happen after your kidneys have sustained a lot of damage, and may not be obvious.

One of the first symptoms of kidney disease is a small amount of protein in your urine, or microalbuminuria. While most people have microalbuminuria when they're first diagnosed, it doesn't mean that kidney disease is inevitable. Another early sign is edema--swelling or fluid buildup in the feet and hands, or around the eyes.

Other symptoms include:

  • bad breath, or a bad taste in your mouth
  • fatigue or weakness
  • high blood pressure
  • itchy skin
  • muscle cramping or twitching
  • nausea and vomiting
  • poor appetite
  • thirst
  • yellowish-brown color of the skin

You're most likely to get kidney disease if your blood glucose levels aren't under control. High blood pressure is another key risk factor for kidney disease, and genetics may play a role.

As symptoms of kidney disease aren't noticeable until the more advanced stages, you should have your urine tested for microalbuminuria. People who have this condition can cut their risk of developing kidney disease by up to 50 percent with intense management of their diabetes.

To reduce your risk of kidney disease when you have diabetes, closely monitor and regulate your blood glucose levels. You may also want to consider taking intensive insulin therapy, which can prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.

Also, try to keep your blood pressure close to the normal range for people with diabetes --below 130/80. Some doctors recommend eating a low-protein diet to reduce the risk of kidney disease.

To learn more about the symptoms of kidney disease, prevention and treatment click here.