Diabetes comes with a slew of complications besides problems with blood sugar, from bad circulation to eye problems. However, it can also cause damage to the kidneys in a condition called Diabetoc nephropathy.

Over time, the high blood sugar levels that often are the main symptom of diabetes can begin to damage your kidneys. After an extended period of time, the damage to the kidneys can prevent them from doing their job of cleaning and filtering the blood.

How does this happen? Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in your body, including those in your kidneys. When this happens, and kidneys can no longer clean the blood properly and waste materials, water and salt build up in the blood. Ankles swell, weight gain increases - it's not a positive experience.

Sometimes, diabetes also causes nerve damage, which can affect the kidneys in surprising ways. Without full nerve function, it can be difficult to completely empty the bladder. The pressure from this urine can damage your kidneys, and it can also cause infection.

30 percent of people with type 1 diabetes and 10-40 percent of type 2 diabetes end up with kidney failure eventually, so this problem is no small matter, even if it isn't always publicized as much as foot problems. So how do you know if you might have a problem?

The early signs of kidney problems related to diabetes can usually be identified in urine tests at your doctor's office, but you should also pay attention to your body. If you're gaining more weight or your ankles are swelling, if you use the bathroom more frequently at night, or if your blood pressure is elevated, it could be an early sign of kidney problems. Make sure to have urine, blood and blood pressure tests at least once a year if you suffer from diabetes.

The most important things that you can do to prevent long-term damage is to control your diabetes. Keep your blood sugar at a healthy level, keep tabs on your blood pressure levels and make sure they stay under control, and make sure you don't have problems with your urinary system. It's especially important to avoid medications that could damage the kidneys.