How could we improve it?

This article contains false or inaccurate information.

Please tell us what was incorrect.

Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
This article doesn't provide enough info.

Please tell us what was missing.

Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
Hmm... I have a question.

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

Or copy link


Diabetes and Dialysis: When is Dialysis Recommended?

Diabetes and Dialysis: When is Dialysis Recommended?

What’s the relationship between diabetes and dialysis? Your kidneys are responsible for filtering the wastes from your blood. But when your kidneys fail, dialysis might be needed to continue their function. This is usually done when you have chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.

One common cause of kidney failure is diabetes, a condition when your blood sugar is too high. Diabetes can cause damage to how kidneys usually work by overworking your organs. For people diagnosed with diabetes and kidney failure, dialysis is a required treatment.

What exactly is dialysis?

Dialysis is used to care for the filtering of your blood and balancing liquid, minerals, and acid in your body when your kidneys are unable to. This can be done through a machine or the inner lining of your stomach.

When is it recommended?

A person goes through this treatment due to kidney failure, usually caused by kidney disease or other injuries and diseases that affect your kidney, like diabetes. Dialysis can also be recommended when waiting for a kidney transplant or if your doctor does not endorse a transplant in your case.

The high blood sugar or pressure caused by diabetes can overwork your kidneys, and dialysis may be required. When your organs have a hard time filtering your blood, this could lead to kidney failure over time.

Not everyone with diabetes may develop kidney disease but you are at higher risk. It is highly advised to contact your doctor to check for signs of kidney disease.

What happens during dialysis?

There are 2 types of dialysis, each categorized by how your blood would be filtered.


This type of dialysis uses an external machine. Your blood will pass through a tube to the machine where your blood would be filtered. The filtered blood would be returned to your body using the same tube.

Peritoneal dialysis

This type is when your peritoneum, the lining inside your abdomen, is used instead of a machine. A cut would be made into your abdomen where a catheter would be inserted. Once in place, fluid will fill up the peritoneal cavity through the catheter.

The tiny blood vessels in the cavity remove wastes from your blood when it passes through. After a few hours, the fluid is removed and replaced to repeat the process. Your health care provider will discuss the pros and cons of each type so you could better decide which one you prefer.

What to expect during treatment

Dialysis can make you feel tired after every session. How long your sessions last depend on the type of dialysis. If you will be going to a dialysis center for your treatment, your healthcare provider will be with you every step of the way. But undergoing dialysis will not prevent you from continuing your daily activities.

Key Takeaways

Detecting kidney disease at an early stage, especially if you are diabetic, could help you avoid further health complications due to your condition. But should it progress and lead to kidney failure, dialysis treatments can help you lead a more normal life.

Your health care provider will be with you at every step of your dialysis journey. But with a better lifestyle and strict management of your condition, your situation may improve faster.

Learn more about Diabetes Complications here.


BMI Calculator

Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you're at a healthy weight. You can also use this tool to check your child's BMI.



Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Dialysis – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dialysis/, Accessed April 23, 2021

Dialysis – hemodialysis Information | Mount Sinai – New York, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/special-topic/dialysis-hemodialysis, Accessed April 23, 2021

Diabetic Kidney Problems, https://medlineplus.gov/diabetickidneyproblems.html, Accessed April 23, 2021

Kidney Disease (Nephropathy) | ADA (diabetes.org), https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/kidney-disease-nephropathy, Accessed April 23, 2021

Make the Diabetes and Kidney Disease Connection | Prevention & Risk Management | Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/prevention-risk/make-the-connection.html, Accessed April 23, 2021

Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Red Ricafort Updated May 07
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel