How Dialysis Helps Diabetic Patient with Kidney Disease

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MCALLEN –Diabetes can sometimes cause kidneys to stop functioning properly. Dialysis is a treatment for people that can help save their lives.

Patients spend around three to five hours in a dialysis center, like Joe Cerda.

Cerda spends three times a week at the center. “It’s like a part-time job,” he said.

A blanket sits next to him to keep him warm during the treatment and has a television for entertainment.

“They got cable here so I’ll find something to watch,” he said.

For two years Cerda spent half of his week coming to the dialysis center in McAllen. His poor diet caused him to have diabetes.

“A lot of starch, sugars, a lot of Cokes, Sprites, I must have been like that for half a year,” he said.

Cerda was diagnosed at the age of 18 with Type 2 diabetes. He’s currently battling kidney disease.

“We’re all in it for the same purpose to help patients live longer,” Victor Saenz, dialysis’ facility administrator and RN nurse practitioner, said. “You know a lot of people with this kidney disease, they get it and they say, ‘Okay I need to make a change. If I want to live I’m going to take the medication, limit my fluids and be at my dialysis treatment all the time’.”

The facility can hold up to 144 people. Saenz said about 90 percent of patients have diabetes. That’s about 129 diabetic patients on dialysis.

Dialysis filters out waste and water from the blood, it’s what the kidneys should o.

People with chronic kidney disease caused by diabetes don’t have fully functioned kidneys.

“What happens is those toxins cause complications to your renal, so patients without dialysis, if we are not removing those toxins from the fluid, it can lead to death,” Saenz said.

He said living a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise can decrease the chances of getting diabetes.

Cerda said if he could, he would change what he ate years ago.

“The beans, the tortillas, the rice, no vegetables, fatty proteins, it has a lot to do with diet, man,” he said.

Cerda said he wishes families could get more education about diabetes. He knows if that information was available when he was growing up, his life would be different. He said he’ll be taking care of himself, fighting the disease for the rest of his life.


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