Although kidney damage can sometimes be prevented or delayed, some people with diabetes may need dialysis if their kidneys fail.
Diane Bonfrisco, 61, of Fair Lawn, N.J., had already suffered through complications with her feet and legs when suddenly she experienced symptoms of dehydration, dizziness, and abdominal pain and her skin turned yellow.
"After numerous tests at the hospital, it was clearly stated that her kidneys were not working anymore," says her 37-year-old daughter Christine.
Diane has been on kidney dialysis for three and a half years now. Because her kidneys aren't functioning, she takes medicine to prevent potassium and phosphorus from building up in her blood, which could cause other health problems.
And she can only consume 32 ounces of liquid—the equivalent of four glasses of water—each day, her daughter notes. An accumulation of fluid between dialysis sessions could raise her blood pressure and make her heart work harder than it already does.