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Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsOther - Diseases · 2 months ago

How long can a person last on dialysis, w/ no kidney function? If no transplant available or found? Years? Decades? It depends?


Thanks for thr thoughtful answers. I'm humbled and impressed!

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    It depends. Of what? Many factors, such as :

    Your age. People on both extremes (too young, too old) are high risk groups and tend to have more complications with dialysis.

    Other comorbidities: People with kidney failure often have other comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension etc. these comorbidities make their treatment more complicated.

    Addictions: Believe it or not, maaany patients, even with kidney failure or even cancer still drink alcohol or smoke. Addictions, particularly smoking are terrible if you have kidney failure, because it ages your blood vessels and complicates their status.

    Adherence to treatment: Patients w kidney failure have to take lots of pills a day, and sometimes that makes complicated for patients to keep up w their treatments or some simply don't care to follow their treatment properly. That's an issue because that can worse their symptoms as well as their general status.

    How often they dialyse: People on hemodialysis should be hemodialysed at the very least 3 times a week. Some people can't be hemodialysed as often for many reasons (financial aspects, health complications, etc). So the patients who hemodialyse less than 3 times a week tend to accumulate more toxins in their bodies and that leads to worse outcomes.

    Nutritional status and diet: A patient w malnutrition will have worse outcomes than a patient that has a healthy weight, that's a truth for any patient of any kind, but particularly for patients w kidney failure and cancer. Also, patients w kidney failure need to eat a special diet that is supervised by a Dietitian w training in management of kidney failure. During dialysis many nutrients are lost, particularly proteins, as well as water and electrolytes. Those need to be replaced in EXACT amounts through the diet and sometimes through special formulas that are prescribed, and these have to be calculated and prescribed by a Dietitian.

    Emotional and mental state: Having kidney failure is one of the toughest illnesses a person can have. People with kidney failure often feel sick and tired even when they receive dialysis, because dialysis doesn't work as good as your own kidneys (although it's better than nothing).to filter to toxins. That impacts your mental and emotional state as a patient.

    Having a good network: Any patient will have a better outcome if they have a strong network; ---call it family or friends- that they can rely on.

    And last but not least: Luck. Some patients die despite following every rule in the book while some other defy all odds and survive anyway. We still don't know what we are missing in those situations, but it happens. I've seen a few patients who actually recover a bit of kidney function through follow their diet to a T, I've seen others that simply get overcomplicated after having something as silly as a cold and die.

    As you can see, many factors play an important role in how long a person can live on dialysis but if I wanted to tell a number I could say that at the very least, 10 years. That, considering it's a patient that's constant with their treatment, that doesn't get infections often and that complies to their doctor's prescriptions.

    Hope this helps to clarify your question

    Source(s): I'm a Dietitian
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  • 2 months ago

    not long.. many people who work for for-profit-dialysis-centers would tell you "years, decades and life-long on weekly dialysis", however it would be as safe as driving your car at 200 miles per hour to school and to work in a busy city every week.. `


    every week that a person would not receive a kidney transplant, is a week filled with a possible of a heart attack and a sudden death..

    i have seen people who survived ESRF (end stage renal failure) for more than a decade on dialysis - because they were not qualified to receive a donor organ.. but i have seen deaths among young people and children with ESRF who did not survive more than few months to few years..

    they have to follow strict diet and strict fluid intake and that alone sucks the life out of people.. the answer is it depends.. obviously, more advantage is given to someone who has more access to a private dialysis machine and who religiously follow the dietary restrictions that come with ESRF,  to young age groups, to people with no other underlying illnesses like diabetes, heart issues, HIV and liver issues, to people with good social support and a life to fight for, to the type of healthcare is provided in your area.. etc etc etc.. on so many things really..

    the main message is.. "try to get a kidney transplant ASAP if you have ESRF and on weekly dialysis.. do not believe the bull**** that for-profit-dialysis-clinics tell you that you can live long on dialysis and without a transplant surgery "

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      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      All this is partially true. Receiving a kidney would be ideal but people also forget that getting a transplant means life long immunosupressants to avoid rejecting the organ and in the case of a kidney, also following a strict diet as well as many other indications. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Years and years but they are usually not very well.

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