What happens if my kidneys stop working?
Even with the right treatments, diabetic nephropathy can get worse over time. Your kidneys could stop working. This is called kidney failure. If this happens, waste products build up in your body. This can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, shortness of breath and confusion. In severe cases, kidney failure can cause seizures and coma.
If you have kidney failure, your doctor will refer you for dialysis (say: die-al-uh-sis). In dialysis, a machine is used to take waste products out of the blood. One kind of dialysis has to be done in a clinic. For another kind of dialysis, the machine is so small it can be strapped to your body while you go about your daily activities. If you develop kidney failure, your doctor will help you decide which type of dialysis machine is right for you.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff