A Low Carbohydrate Diet Effective in the Treatment of Obese or Diabetic Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease


Aim: Diet of Hope Institute specializes in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. In 2011, a patient being treated at our clinic improved estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from 46 to 80. The patient was obese, hypertensive and diabetic. She lost 10% of her body weight and was able to stop her diabetic and blood pressure medications. This finding prompted the Institute to collect data regarding the frequency of kidney disease in the clinic’s patient population and evaluate its response to our disease management program which emphasizes a low carbohydrate and normal protein diet.

Methods: Of five hundred consecutive patients referred to the program, thirty-three patients (6.6%) carried the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease as established by their nephrologist. These patients were supervised for an average of 6.3 months during 2013 and 2014 and data were collected at that time. Statistical analysis was subsequently performed in January 2015. Carbohydrates were restricted to berries and non-starchy vegetables. Daily protein intake was calculated at 0.5gm per pound of body weight up to a maximum of 120gm.

Results: In a population of thirty-three patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, eGFR increased by an average of 25.5%, serum creatinine decreased by an average of 13.7% and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) decreased by an average of 9.1%.Average weight loss was 23.8 pounds or 10.2% of body weight.

Conclusion: A low carbohydrate and normal protein diet can be effective in improving renal function in obese, hypertensive, and diabetic patients.