In the later stages of kidney disease, when the condition is called Chronic or End-Stage Kidney Disease, Dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant are the only options.
Dialysis is a procedure during which waste products are separated from the blood and removed from the body.
- Dialysis acts as a “substitute” for a healthy kidney.
Unfortunately, most dialysis patients must continue with the treatments for the rest of their lives, unless a kidney donor is found.
There are three types of dialysis:
Hemodialysis where blood is taken from a blood vessel in the forearm and filtered by a dialysis machine.
- Sessions take around 4 hours and are usually carried out 3 times a week.
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis where dialysis fluid is delivered into the abdomen through a catheter.
- The fluid stays inside for several hours to filter waste products and is drained afterward, which takes 30 to 40 minutes.
Automated Peritoneal Dialysis where the patient is connected to a dialysis machine for 8 to 10 hours overnight, while they sleep.
- The machine controls the drainage of the fluid.
If Diabetic Nephropathy is in its final stages, the doctor may recommend a kidney transplant.
Unfortunately, a kidney transplant requires finding an available donor, which can take some time. And, even though the procedure may appear to have been successful, the body receiving the kidney may still reject the new organ.
- Around 20% of transplanted kidneys are rejected by the recipient’s body.
- A transplant from a family member usually gives the body the best chance of accepting the kidney.
- The transplant surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes 3-4 hours.
The Cold Facts:
You know that the first step to lifetime health is prevention. No matter how complicated we try to make health and medicine, except for genetic (inherited) diseases, the number one step is to keep it from happening.
If you’re a diabetic, prevention for you means:
Making the lifestyle changes necessary to help you control your glucose levels and blood pressure, including:
- Eating a nutritious diet low in sugars
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
- Checking blood glucose levels regularly and correctly
Keep your blood glucose levels under control. Your main focus should be to lower your risk of developing diabetic nephropathy.
- Maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released new blood pressure guidelines on Nov. 13, 2017, that now classifies millions more Americans as having hypertension. These are the new parameters.
The outlook for people with diabetic nephropathy depends on the stage of their condition.
- The earlier treatment starts, the better the outlook, which makes having regular exams important.
If Diabetic Nephropathy develops into End Stage Renal Disease, it can lead to some serious illnesses, such as complete kidney failure or cardiovascular diseases.
In fact, Cardiovascular Disease is one of the primary causes of death in people with kidney disease and those with diabetes.
Proper treatment can delay or prevent the development of diabetic nephropathy, and all diabetics should take early steps to prevent the condition, as it can take 20 years for diabetic nephropathy to reach its final stages.