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CHF and Diabetes affecting the kidneys?
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CHF and Diabetes affecting the kidneys?

Hello!  Thank you for taking the time to help!  My mom is very sick and I was wondering how diabetes and CHF can affect renal dysfunction.  I have been going over textbooks, but can't find a simple, concrete answer as to why this happens.
Thank you very much!
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Hi Kerry--
Sorry to hear about your Mom. (Both my parents have been battling CHF, so I know it's a bummer, to say the least!)

A very good website is The first part of the website in particular explains the relationship between diabetes and kidney function pretty well, I think.

Most of our body is water, so when the fluid balance gets off, things can really get messed up. If CHF is untreated, it begins to affect basically every organ in the body, and not in a good way. In CHF, the heart muscle is weakened and it can't always get enough blood to the kidneys for them to do their work properly--their work being to get rid of the waste products from the blood so the waste products don't build up and start poisoning the body.

If the kidneys aren't working properly, the body starts retaining more fluid. The fluid's got to go somewhere so it goes places that nature didn't intend and a person becomes increasingly more ill.

Hope this makes sense.

Is your Mom in the hospital right now?  

She just got out.  She is "non compliant" and from what I keep reading, the better the control of the sugar levels, the better chance you have of not damaging the kidneys.  But she is pretty far gone, and she is miserable.  She is now on Hemondialysis, and she is angry.  She doesn't like having to sit there.  I keep telling her that at least she is alive!  At this point, she is just mad at everything.
Thank you for your comment.  I will read those sites you sent!
How is your mom? Indeed, diabetes can damage the kidneys. High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys filter too much blood. This extra work is hard on the filters of the kidney and after some time, they start to leak. Useful protein is also  lost in the urine. In time, the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to eventually lose their filtering ability. Waste products then start to build up in the blood and the kidneys fail. This kidney failure, or end stage renal disease ( ESRD), is very serious.Kidney transplant or dialysis are usually indicated. I hope this helps. Take care and do keep us posted.
Your Mom isn't really mad at the world, she's mad at her situation.  

Part of the dialysis is finding things to do that she enjoys.  Does she like to read, watch tv, play games, etc?  All of these things can be done during dialysis and seem to make the time pass faster.

There is a variation of dialysis that "might" help.  If someone was to train to give home hemodialysis, then the amount of time per day could possibly be cut down to 2 hours.  Of course she would have to do it everyday, intstead of 3 days a week.  Besides not having to sit for so many hours at a time, there have been studies that show the death rate of daily users is lower.  The argument is that, most of the toxins are pulled out during the first 2 hours of dialysis, and therefore, the people who do it everyday have a higher sucess rate.

Also, with home hemodialysis, one can do dialysis while they sleep.  It's slower and goes on for 8 hours, instead of 3-4.  Your Mom might be happier with the nocturnal dialysis.

The other dialysis, that I refused to consider, was perodioneatal(sp?) dialysis.  There is a catheter installed through the stomach wall, and the body cavity is filled with a solution, that supposedly pulls all of the toxins out of the body.  It's done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and has to be changed about every 5 hours, and the solution weighs about 6 pounds, and is sugar water, adding aprrox. 2,000 calories a day without the benefit of eating.  It's not something they would allow your mother to do, since she is diabetic, but it's an interesting alternative.
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