How Long Can You Live on Dialysis with Diabetes?

Well, diabetes is known to cause a lot of complications such as cardiovascular diseases, damage to the blood vessels, nerve damage, and other problems in your body. As such, it has to be managed really efficiently. Kidney disease and the eventual renal failure is one amongst a host of complications that diabetes can cause in your body. Thankfully, there are ways and different treatments due to which you can still live and have some hope of recovering and reversing the condition.

However, the life expectancy of such patients largely depends on the type of treatment that is being received and how effectively the disease is being handled. In this article, we shall analyze and discuss one such treatment for renal failure that is dialysis.

Table of Contents

Diabetes and Kidney Failure

Before understanding about dialysis, let us first understand what causes kidney failure in diabetes. If you are not able to manage your diabetes in an effective manner, the process of smooth blood circulation is hindered. Besides, you could also experience damage to the various nerves and blood vessels. When the damage is caused by the nerves and the blood vessels of the kidney, the kidney’s stop doing the normal activities that they are responsible for. As a result, you experience the following problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Accumulation of harmful wastes in your body
  • Inability to make the required number of red blood cells
  • Accumulation of fluid in the body

As a result, the body suffers from a lot of complications. Hence, it is imperative that the condition of kidney failure is appropriately treated. There are various ways of treating the same. But we shall concentrate on dialysis in this article.

What is Dialysis?

diabetes dialysis

A kidney dialysis machine is a machine which is used to perform the normal functions which a kidney does in your body when your actual kidney fails to perform its function in an efficient manner. There can be two types of dialysis:

  • Peritoneal dialysis in which the belly of the patient is used to remove the waste products which kidney normally does in a healthy individual
  • Hemodialysis: In this case, the machine is used as a filter from which the waste products of the body can be removed

What is the Life Expectancy of a Diabetic Patient Who is on Dialysis?

There are a lot of discussions on this topic. While the exact life expectancy of a diabetic patient on dialysis in something that is debatable, it is well-known that the same depends on a number of factors such as the following:

  • Complications other than the kidney damage which the patient might suffer from. These complications could be foot damage, nerve damage in various body parts, cardiovascular diseases, damage caused to the eyes, amputation of the foot and other body parts, amongst others
  • The diet which the diabetes patient with dialysis is following also plays a major role in determining the life expectancy of the patient
  • Another important factor that might influence the life expectancy of a patient with diabetes on dialysis is his or her mental strength and tolerance level
  • Finally, another factor that can hugely impact the life expectancy of the diabetes patients on dialysis is what stage of the disease are you in and how effectively are you being able to manage both diabetes and kidney failure

As per the experts, if effectively managed, the life expectancy of a diabetes patient who is on dialysis can be as long as even 20 years. On the extreme side, if you are unable to manage the condition effectively, your life expectancy can be as short as just a year or even a few months. As per some research, on an average, the life expectancy of a diabetes patient is somewhere around 4.25 years. The same research indicates that there are 23 percent of the diabetes patients who live for as long as 10 years with dialysis.

Hence, there is no defined number as to the life expectancy of a diabetes patient who is on dialysis. Having said that, there are a few steps which when taken can help you prolong the life expectancy. These steps are explained in the section that follows.

Improving the Lifespan of a Diabetes Patient Who is On Dialysis:

If you are a diabetes patient who is also suffering from kidney failure and is on dialysis, you should consider taking the following steps:

  • Chinese herbal medicines have long been known to reverse the kidney damage which is experienced in the patients. Particularly, the experts recommend the Micro-Chinese medicine osmotherapy as it is considered to be safe. As part of this therapy, the doctors choose a couple of herbal Chinese medicines which they think are best as per the patient’s condition and put the same in a bag. This is then put on the back of the patient. This is known to improve the blood circulation in the body, reversing the damage caused to the blood vessels, as well as it helps in restoring the cells that have been damaged. All these go a long way in reviving the damage that has been caused to the kidneys.

This therapy not only helps in repairing the damage that is caused to the kidneys, it also treats diabetes to some extent

  • You should also regulate your diet and follow the instructions given by your doctor so that your blood glucose levels are under control at all times. You will have to follow a strict diet wherein you will face restrictions to the amount of potassium, sodium, carbohydrates, and phosphorous that you can eat. You should carefully follow the advice of your doctor and dietician
  • You should also regularly get yourself tested for other complications such as heart-related conditions, nerve damage caused to the other body parts, amongst others that can be a result of poorly managed diabetes.
  • Apart from this, you should also be able to manage the levels of bad cholesterol, your lipid profile, and blood pressure effectively.
  • Be disciplined in the medicines you take
  • You should also be mentally strong enough to deal with the situation in an effective manner

So, follow the above measures and lead a healthy life.

We hope that the above article has been helpful in improving your understanding of how much is the life expectancy of a person who is suffering from diabetes and is also on dialysis owing to kidney damage. While you cannot be certain about the exact figure of life expectancy, there are certainly means of prolonging the same. Hence, take some appropriate measures under the guidance and advise of your medical doctor.

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