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Is dialysis the only hope left for my father?

Q: My father is 53 years old and has diabetes. Currently he is on insulin, 6 units before breakfast and 4 units before dinner. His haemoglobin has gone down to 5.2, the blood creatinine level is 7.4 and blood urea is 151. The doctor says that his kidney functioning is only 5% of normal. Is this true? His urine output is approx. 2 litres per day. He feels very tired and sleepy. The doctor has prescribed him 0.75 litres water/day. They are soon going to do a surgery on his wrist to facilitate dialysis in future. Is there any other alternative? Is there any chance of recovery? What would be his life expectancy with such a condition?

A:Unfortunately, it is correct that his kidneys are irreversibly damaged and functioning barely less than 5%. Even though he may be making 2 litres of urine per day, but that urine does not have any metabolic waste, unlike the urine of a person with healthy kidneys. Therefore, it is important that he is started on dialysis without further delay, without which will only make his condition worse and he will take longer to recover from some of the symptoms he is having. The mortality is as high as 25% in the first year of dialysis. This holds particularly true for individuals with diabetes. However, with appropriate care and use of newer drugs, individuals may live up to 10 years and their quality of life has improved over the last decade.


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