In a study of about 50 people with diabetes who experienced subsequent kidney problems, many felt surprised and regretful that they had not been adequately educated about the risks of renal failure or malfunction when they were diagnosed with the blood sugar disorder.
The study was conducted in the UK and published in the Journal of Renal Care.
While many of the participants were well aware of how their diabetes could affect their eyes and feet, few knew that losing control of their blood sugar levels could result in kidney failure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends regular monitoring of blood glucose and making efforts to lower blood pressure through diet and exercise to keep kidneys healthy.
Authors of the study said the results point to a need for more research regarding the link between diabetes and kidney problems.
"The findings also demonstrate that the long-term educational needs of patients who have had diabetes for many years are just as important as the need to make newly diagnosed patients aware of all the health risks they face," said Gurch Randhawa, director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire.