Understanding the connection between Diabetes and Dialysis

The Connection between Diabetes and Dialysis

Diabetes is one of the leading causes and is accountable for 44% chronic kidney disease (CKD) cases. Diabetes is a condition in which the body either doesn’t produce ample insulin or isn’t able to use it efficiently—making it difficult to maintain healthy blood sugar (glucose) levels. If it is not controlled, it can lead to other health problems beyond CKD, including eye, heart disease, high blood pressure, foot health issues etc. If you’re living with diabetic kidney disease, it is very important to stay in control and care for both your diabetes and kidneys so you can be lead a healthy life.

How does diabetes affect the kidneys?

Diabetes side effects include damage and weakening of the blood vessels in the kidneys. The damaged blood vessels deter the kidneys from working as well as they should filter wastes and toxins from your blood. Shortage of proper kidney function can lead to kidney disease and eventually cause kidney failure. People with diabetes may also progress into high blood pressure, which is another leading cause of CKD.

The nerves in the body may also get damaged due to diabetes, which could lead to difficulty in bladder drainage. A full bladder and the associate pressure may lead to an injured kidney. If urine is present in the bladder for prolonged periods, an infection may surface from the onset of bacterial growth in the urine which comprises of high sugar levels.

Signs of kidney disease in diabetes patients

  • Frequent thirst
  • Repeated urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Existence of ketones/protein in your urine
  • Tiredness
  • Morning sickness along with vomiting
  • Anaemia and paleness

Understanding dialysis and diabetes:

Depending on the type of dialysis you’re on for diabetic kidney disease, your treatment may or may not affect your diabetes directly.

  • Hemodialysis and diabetes—your dialysis treatment will not affect your blood sugar levels. If you see deviations in blood sugar during a hemodialysis treatment, it’s expected because you are changing your routine. Consult your doctor if you have questions about your food intake or maintaining control of your diabetes
  • Peritoneal dialysis and diabetes—your blood sugar may be directly wedged by your treatment because your peritoneal dialysis (PD) dialysate may comprise a sugar called dextrose. The dextrose in your PD solution helps eradicate excess fluid from your blood but it also increases your blood sugar. Plus, different strengths of dialysate have diverse amounts of dextrose. To compensate for the effects of peritoneal dialysis, you may need to upsurge your insulin dose. Consult your doctor& they will teach you how to make modifications as necessary.

Inputs by Dr.Nishit Mohanty, Nephrologist, NephroPlus Dialysis Centers, Bhubaneswar & Balasore