Did You Know That Waste Buildup May Be Causing Diabetes In Non-Diabetic Dialysis Patients?



Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with Kidney Failure, according to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Health Information Center. Most patients know that Diabetes can cause Chronic Kidney Disease. In fact, while there are 600,000 patients currently on Dialysis, nearly 180,000 people are living with Kidney Failure as a result of Diabetes. However, did you know that the opposite may also be true? Yes. If you are a non-Diabetic Dialysis patient, then you may be at a very high risk of getting Diabetes as a result of urea (a waste product normally filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine) buildup, suggested the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre.

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Researchers have discovered a once unknown link between Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes. Basically, since Dialysis patients are no longer able to naturally eliminate toxins from their bodies as a result of Kidney Failure, urea is a potent cocktail of waste that accumulates in the blood and works to impair insulin function which leads to Diabetes. 

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Ironically, “In nephrology textbooks, urea is presented as a harmless product," said Nephrologist, Dr. Laetitia Koppe. Yet, these unprecedented (never done or known before) findings suggest otherwise, and reveal that urea is directly responsible for disrupting insulin secretion which causes an imbalance of blood glucose and Diabetes in non-Diabetic Chronic Kidney Disease patients.

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Dr. Vincent Poitout (Principal Investigator of the study and professor at the University of Montreal) noted that further studies are required to explore these findings. However, if true, there are actions that non-Diabetic Dialysis patients may take to limit their risk of Diabetes. One might consider discussing the idea of  taking antioxidants with their Nephrologist. Antioxidants such as vitamin C or E may protect the pancreas and reduce the risk of developing Diabetes, suggested Poitout.

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Also, Dialysis patients should ensure that they remove the appropriate amount of waste during their treatments. Note that the Urea Reduction Ratio (URR) is one way of measuring Dialysis adequacy and how much waste is removed during Hemodialysis Treatments. For instance, if you receive Hemodialysis three times a week, each treatment should reduce your Urea Level (also called Blood Urea Nitrogen - BUN) by at least sixty-five percent (65%).

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