Can Diabetes Cause Kidney Failure?


Diabetes is a progressive disease. Organs like kidney, eyes, heart, etc. are affected slowly because of diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy is a chronic-diseased condition of kidneys due to diabetes. It is one of the most important causes of kidney failure.

Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic Nephropathy

The main function of the kidney is to filter the blood and remove impurities. When a person suffers from diabetes, they have high blood glucose levels. This could harm the nephrons (filters) in the kidney and the filters become inefficient in doing their job. Worldwide, diabetic nephropathy is diagnosed high in people with type 1 diabetes. The kidney failure due to diabetic nephropathy cannot be diagnosed at the initial stages as they do not have any early symptoms. However, if the diabetic patient has

  1. Weight loss
  2. Poor appetite
  3. Feels tired and sick
  4. Edema in feet
  5. Dry itchy skin
  6. Muscle cramps
  7. Urge to urinate often
  8. Concentration issues etc., one must inform the doctor and get their routine diabetic checkup done.

High blood glucose levels scar the cells in the glomerulus (small filtering modules in nephrons) and in the long run when more glomeruli are damaged, it results in permanent kidney damage. 


When a patient has diabetes for a long time, the doctors suggest timely checkups for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy. If the kidney function is affected, then patients have high blood pressure. This is also a glaring symptom for patients to check their kidney function.


The diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy includes:

  1. Estimated glomerular filtration rate test
  2. Urine test 
  3. Physical examination of the kidneys is also performed by the doctor


  1. Early detection and treatment of diabetic nephropathy not only helps to protect the kidney but also reverses the issue. 
  2. The medications help to control the blood glucose levels and also bring down high blood pressure. Along with medicines, lifestyle modification, exercise, diet control, weight loss, walking, etc. help to control diabetes. 
  3. However, if the patient doesn’t respond to treatment, dialysis or a kidney transplant are the suggested treatment plans.


Diabetes can cause complete kidney failure if not treated on time. The risks involved are:

  1. If one is affected by diabetes for a long time, it is difficult to prevent the kidneys from getting damaged. 
  2. High glucose levels are not coming under control irrespective of continuous medication. At times, the body can become immune and less reactive to medicines.
  3. Obesity can be a huge problem in diabetic patients as it might affect the blood pressure as well
  4. Habits like smoking and drinking can harm the kidneys at a faster rate.


To prevent kidney failure due to diabetes, one has to maintain a healthy lifestyle, shed the extra weight and stored fat, eat healthily and stay happy. Patients suffering from diabetes should keep their blood pressure in control as high BP can also damage the nephrons in the kidney. Medicines should be taken on time so that the blood glucose levels are intact and kidneys are safe.


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