Acute Kidney Failure

I recently went to the ER with gastroenteritis and severe dehydration. I was totally floored when they told me that I was in acute renal failure. My kidneys are presently only at 35 and I am terrified they are going to fail. I know this could be a possible complication one day but I am new to diabetes and it happened so fast. I am so unsure of what to do next but I have jumped ahead to getting a dnr and this is a death sentence.

Acute renal failure is not necessarily the same thing as chronic. What do your doctors say? Ask all the questions you can think of – keep a list to remind yourself, as docors are often in such a hurry. has great resources for learning more about such conditions. Knowledge is power!

I have been through chronic kidney disease (I was at a GFR of 31 when diagnosed) leading to end stage renal failure, and while dialysis is no one’s idea of fun, it can keep one going a long time. I was hugely lucky and received a kidney/pancreas transplant a year ago, and am doing fine. Normal is always a moving target for any diabetic – don’t let the fear conquer you! Sending positive thoughts your way.

Acute renal failure is usually something people recover from in a few weeks or faster, although it can become permanent.

There is one amazing story on the DOC from a woman whose acute renal failure turned chronic, she spent a year on dialysis... and her kidneys recovered! The doctor theorized that diabetes made her recover slower.

Hi, Reese,
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Two years ago I was told that I was in Stage 3 kidney disease as my kidneys were functioning at only 32%. I, too, panicked and was scared too death! I was put on a low potassium diet and taken off Ibuprofen/Motrin and any type of anti-inflammatory pills as they can effect your kidney functions. Since doing all that my kidneys are now functioning within the normal range (62%) and was told by two different docs recently that they think I do NOT have kidney disease!!!!! I still try, tho, to go easy on foods that have potassium and stay away from all anti-inflammatory meds and all my tests come back normal. Have you been referred to a nephrologist yet? You may find that you just need to stay away from Or eat less of) certain foods and/or meds. Praying things go well for you. Take care and feel free to write if you'd like.

Thank you so much for the responses. I feel a lot better knowing this can get better. When I was first told I thought this is it and it cant improve and that all damage was permanent. I don't see the neprhologist for a while but when he spoke to me he said he felt we had room for improvement. I guess right now everything is in flux. I am waiting to see the endocrinologist as well. So I am pretty much a mess waiting at the beginning of being diabetic and dealing with these kidney issues. I hope in the next few weeks a plan of treatment will come together

Whoa there. Slow down. First off, there is a huge difference between acute kidney failure and chronic kidney disease. Do you mean that your kidneys are only at 35% function? Is that what they told you? You can recover quite effectively from acute kidney issues. They may take some time to resolve, but they often get better with time. I would hold off on that DNR. I've had docs who didn't know much in the ER tell me I was in acute kidney failure when my creatinine was only slightly above my normal baseline with my transplant (that has now lasted for over 10 years). So don't get too upset with what they told you in the ER. Have you seen a kidney specialist? Even if you are only at 35%, you can still live a long and healthy, happy, fun life for decades. Don't say this is a death sentence. Basically, life comes with a death sentence. But given what you have described, you probably still have decades ahead of you (you don't say how old you are). I was first diagnosed with protein in my urine in the 70s and despite some issues, am still alive and kicking and happy.


Hi everyone
Thank you so much for all the advice and encouragement. I have just read over the posting and omg the feelings of despair just came right back. I remember just thinking my life is over. After reading the posts I got out of panic mode. That was probably the most real conversation on the topic I had had. I met with the nephrologist who was wonderful. He was supportive and stayed available to me as much as I needed. By the fall my kidney function had returned and life resumed. I still see the nephrologist yearly and he monitors all my labs. I pray for those still fighting the battle. I try not to take anything that can harm my kidneys. I protect them and I am careful to always remind my physicians as they prescribe medications. Thank you so much for the responses and support.


Love it when people come back and update and even better when it’s awesome news. Congrats to you!!!

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Congratulation! And thank you so much for coming back and giving us an update! Your description of your initial situation and how things are now will help others!

Best wishes!


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Reese, I am sorry to hear about this. Kidneys are always a worry. A nephrologist has been “watching” my kidneys for years now, although I think he’d have more fun watching Abbot and Costello. I know things can happen very quickly with diabetic complications, so my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Happy to hear the great news! :grinning::+1:t2:

Silly you… That’s the good kind of kidney failure;)