Find out what is the relationship between kidney failure and diabetes and understand the importance of good control of your blood sugar.

Know what kidney failure is, what is the relationship between diabetes and kidney failure, and what are the causes.




Learn how you can naturally prevent and treat kidney failure through a natural diet.

1. Kidney failure What is it?

According to a study at Phra Mongkut Klao Hospital, kidney failure is damage to the kidney that occurs progressively, affecting its function.

When there is kidney failure, blood filtering, and waste elimination are affected, which leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body and the elimination of undigested proteins through urine. (1) (2)

2. Diabetes and kidney failure relationship

Excess glucose alters pathways to control the leakage of substances from the kidney and in the long term alters the structure of the kidney. 

In people with diabetes, the blood circulation in the kidneys is affected.

Abnormal dilation of the arteries occurs, the arteries are enlarged, glomerular filtration increases, and in the long term they cause sclerosis, that is, hardening of the kidneys. 

Unfortunately, between 20 and 30% of type 1 and 2 diabetics, due to poor control, develop kidney disease.

It is estimated that a person with diabetes without effective diabetes treatment develops kidney problems at age 20 in 4 to 17% of cases and in 16% after 30 years.

It is important to avoid the use of metformin because it affects the kidneys and produces lactic acidosis, an alteration of the liquids in the body that is life-threatening, causing confusion, gastrointestinal problems. 

For their part, other medications for diabetes, thiazolidines are not recommended in patients with diabetes, they complicate the kidneys and cause edema and heart failure.




Through the following causes, high sugar damages the kidneys. 

2.1. Other Causes of Kidney Failure

The hyperglycemia present in diabetes produces toxic, advanced glycosylation products, increases aldosterone reductase, causes oxidative stress.

2.1.1. Advanced glycosylation end products

High sugar along with amino acids in blood or tissues leads to the formation of advanced glycosylation products.

Advanced glycosylation products then lead to kidney complications.

Advanced glycosylation products increase protein C kinase, a protein that increases the production of inflammatory substances causing thinning of the glomerulus.

The glomerulus is where the blood in the kidney is filtered.

Another effect of hyperglycemia maintained over time and the products of advanced glycosylation are the structural changes in some proteins, such as glycosylated hemoglobin, an indicator of the state of diabetes. 

2.1.2. Aldose reductase

This is an enzyme that has the ability to convert glucose to sorbitol.

Prolonged high sugar increases enzyme and sorbitol production and affects the kidney membrane.

Its accumulation in a membrane of the glomerulus, thins the membrane, facilitating the damage of the elevated glucose in the kidney.  

2.1.3. Arachidonic acid

Arachidonic acid, present in foods of animal origin, is activated by a receptor called thromboxane A2 that leads to oxidative stress, a situation that causes kidney injury.

In the early stages, thinning of the glomerular membrane is observed. After 3 to 5 years, hyalinization occurs, that is, the accumulation of proteins in arteries.

At age 15, sclerosis occurs in the kidney where normal structures are replaced by connective tissue, causing the hardening of the kidney. 



This situation is evidenced by the increase of albumin, a protein, hypertension develops, increased pressure and glomerular filtration decreases, the ability of the kidney to filter blood.  

2.1.4. Oxidative stress

In people with diabetes due to hyperglycemia, the production of reactive oxygen substances, harmful substances, is increased. 

Oxidative stress is involved in various functions such as protein and fat oxidation, renal vasoconstriction, that is, a reduction infiltration.

The above factors causing kidney failure also lead to an increase in the formation of free radicals leading to oxidative stress and injury to the kidneys.  

2.1.5. Genetic factors

Genetic factors explain why people with long-term blood sugar do not develop kidney failure and others do.

Having a first-degree relative, such as parents, with type 1 or 2 diabetes with kidney problems increases the risk.

A family history of hypertension or heart disease makes kidney problems more likely to develop.

Some genes determine low glomerular filtration or are related to insulin resistance and lead to diabetic kidney failure.

3. Kidney failure prevention

According to a study conducted at Shahrekord University, maintaining normal blood sugar is essential in preventing kidney failure in diabetes.

With normal values ​​we mean that the blood sugar is less than 140 mg/dl, the 1-hour postprandial blood glucose (sugar after eating) is less than 200mg / dl.

The vegetables, fruits, and grains for their contribution of antioxidants prevent kidney damage, especially for being rich in vitamin E, C.

These natural foods network to achieve a unique combination of antioxidants to prevent oxidative damage and kidney failure in diabetes.

4. Natural treatment

The basis of treatment for renal failure is the control of hyperglycemia, blood pressure and fat alteration together with protein limitations. 

4.1. Hyperglycemia control

Maintaining normal sugar values ​​prevents the appearance of protein in urine and its advance.

The goal in controlling hyperglycemia is to achieve a glycated hemoglobin of less than 7% or 6.5%.


Insulin can partially decrease kidney atrophy. Insulin can reduce the proteins that are removed. 

However this occurs in two years. This is why having a diet suitable for diabetes and kidney failure is necessary. 

Caution should be taken that the metabolism in the kidney and liver of insulin decreases in chronic renal failure, therefore its dose should be reduced.

4.2. Antioxidants

According to a study carried out at Isfahan University, antioxidants in the diet allow preventing and treating diabetes

The recommended antioxidants are those from foods of plant origin.

Antioxidants improve kidney function in type 2 diabetes and protect against kidney toxicity caused by drugs or toxins.

Antioxidants include polysaccharides, flavonoids, xanthones, peptides, and examples of these antioxidants include turmeric, ginseng, grapes. 

4.3. Weight reduction

Waist circumference predicts kidney failure and the elimination of protein in the urine over a period of 8 years.

People with diabetes who lose weight significantly decrease protein in the urine.

In turn, markers of inflammation and the progression of kidney failure are reduced.

4.4. Salt and protein restriction

Controlling blood pressure reduces the progression of kidney damage.

The blood pressure value to be achieved is 125/75 mmHg. 

High sodium intake increases filtration in the kidney and sclerosis, the risk of kidney hardening. 

Protein restriction decreases protein in the urine, slows the progression of kidney failure, decreases symptoms, and delays the need for dialysis.

This is possible thanks to the fact that the reduction of proteins reduces hyperfiltration in the kidneys.

The protein recommendation is 0.8 g per kg in patients with elevated protein in the urine.

The greater restriction is not recommended because it increases mortality.

4.5. Fat control

In diabetics fats are altered, there may be an increase in triglycerides and reduced HDL.

Added to that the patient has hypertension increases the risk of kidney problems.

Control of blood fats reduces the risk of these complications




The objective is to achieve a value of 150 mg/dl of triglycerides, HDL more than 60 mg/dl and LDL less than 100 mg/dl. 

A diet with high healing capacity provides adequate amounts of protein, is low in sodium, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, promotes weight loss, and prevents and treats kidney failure in diabetics. 


Categories: Diabetes

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