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how long can someone live on dialysis

Someone lives on dialysis for 5-10 years on average. The life expectancy on dialysis depends on the other medical conditions you have and whether you come in all dialysis treatments or not. The average life expectancy on kidney dialysis is 5-10 years. However, many patients have lived well for 20 years to 30 years on dialysis.

What is dialysis?

how long can someone live on dialysis

Dialysis is an artificial process by which waste materials and excess water is taken out of the blood. It is the most important function of the kidney but when they fail, artificial dialysis does it. The way of doing the work of the kidney artificially is dialysis.

What are the indications to use dialysis?

The indications to use dialysis are:

i. Acute indications :

  • The intoxication of fluid.
  • Uremia complications.
  • Electrolyte abnormality.
  • Overload of fluid.

ii. Chronic indications

  • Low glomerular  filtration.
  • Symptomatic renal failure.
  • Difficult to control the overload of fluid medically.

What are the main principles of dialysis?

The main principles of dialysis are :

1)Diffusion: Molecules move from an area of high concentration to an area of lower concentration.

2) Osmosis: Osmosis is the process in which water moves from an area of higher solute concentration to an area of lower solute concentration.

3) Ultrafiltration: Water moving under the high pressure to an area of lower pressure.

What are the types of dialysis?

  • There are two types of dialysis: first is peritoneal dialysis, (PD) and second is hemodialysis, (HD).
  • Both the processes filter the blood and remove urea, creatinine, other waste material, and excess water; but important things such as blood cells and nutrients are retained.

1)  Peritoneal dialysis (PD)

In peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum is used as a filter which is the part of our body. The peritoneum is a natural membrane that lies our abdomen from inside and this also covers our abdominal organs like the stomach, intestine, liver, and so on.

In appearance, it is like a balloon but it has small holes due to which it can be used as a dialysis membrane.

Peritoneum has two layers: one layer lines the abdominal wall from inside and the other layer covers the abdominal organs. These two layers have space and this space is the peritoneal cavity.

During peritoneal dialysis, this peritoneal cavity is used for dialysis fluid. Normally peritoneal cavity contains 100 ml or 0.1 l fluid but it can carry 5000ml or 5l of fluid. For this reason, it is used in peritoneal dialysis to filter blood.

How does peritoneal dialysis work?

Sterile dialysate fluid through an abdominal catheter at intervals is introduced into the peritoneal cavity.

Urea and creatinine are removed from the blood by osmosis and diffusion.

Ultrafiltration occurs in the peritoneal dialysis through an osmotic gradient created by using a dialysate with a higher glucose concentration.

Location of an abdominal catheter
  • The abdominal catheter is located about 3 to 5 cm below the umbilicus because this area is relatively free from large blood vessels.
  • Peritoneal dialysis involves a series of exchanges or cycles which include infusion, dwell, and the drainage of the dialysate.

What are the complications of peritoneal dialysis?

  • Peritonitis
  • Bleeding
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Abdominal hernia
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Low back pain

2) Haemodialysis (HD)

In hemodialysis (HD), a machine or artificial kidney is used, with the help of which waste materials and excess water is taken out of the body. This process is also called ultrafiltration.

In hemodialysis, the blood laden with toxin and nitrogenous wastes is diverted from the patient to the machine which is a dialyze. The blood is cleansed and then returned to the patient in the dialyzer.

A dialyzer which is also called an artificial kidney serves as a synthetic semi-permeable membrane. The dialyzer replaces the renal glomeruli and tubules as filters for the impaired kidneys.

Principles of hemodialysis

Diffusion:

The toxins and wastes in the blood are removed by diffusion that means they move from an area of higher concentration in the blood to a lower area of concentration in the dialysate.

Osmosis:

Excess water removes from the blood by osmosis, in which water moves from the blood to the dialysate bath.

Ultrafiltration:

Water moving under the high pressure to an area of lower pressure which is accomplished by applying negative pressure or a suctioning force to the dialysis membrane.

What are the complications of hemodialysis?

  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Anemia
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Hypotension
  • Painful muscle cramping
  • Air embolism
  • Dysrhythmias

Choosing between Peritoneal Dialysis(PD) and Haemodialysis (HD)

The patient should keep three things in mind before choosing between Peritoneal Dialysis(PD) and Haemodialysis (HD). They are:

i.   PD is more suitable in the early stages of dialysis. If the kidneys are working even a little bit then with the help of the PD, kidneys can work for quite a long time.

ii.  Diabetes patients have generally weak veins and hemodialysis needs veins. So to save our veins for later stages PD can be done. This way when PD becomes ineffective then later it is easy to do hemodialysis.

iii.The patients can do PD at home while HD needs hospital admission. Many patients opt for the PD in the starting to avoid frequents visits to the hospital.

Will dialysis cure my Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Dialysis cannot cure Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), it does not cure symptoms completely neither do the kidneys return health. But dialysis control your symptoms and prevent you from dying.

Dialysis provides only 5% of the work done by the two normal kidneys. This means that when a patient is on dialysis then he has 10% of normal kidney function; 5% of the dialysis and 5% of his kidneys.

Now, this 10% sufficient for a person to live on dialysis?

No, but to remain alive it is necessary to have dialysis. If immediately after the diagnosis of the initial stage of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD), the patient starts homeopathic treatment, then the requirements of dialysis get delayed.

Multivitamin tablets during dialysis or kidney failure

The kidney patient should not take any multivitamin tablets. In kidney failure conditions, our kidneys are not able to excrete these tablets because they contain an excessive amount of vitamins. Due to which vitamins accumulate in the body giving rise to the condition hypervitaminosis which is like poisoning.

What happens when you don’t get enough dialysis?

When you don’t get enough dialysis there will be:

  1. Too much if urea in your blood that will causes you to:
  • Feel tired,
  • Poor sleep
  • Itching confusion
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bad taste in your mouth

When dialysis removes urea from your blood. You will have:

  • more energy
  • Sleep better
  • Eat better
  • Think more clearly

2. You will have excess fluid in your heart, excess fluid will cause:

  • Heart to pump harder
  • Extra strain on the heart
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Weakened heart.

Attending all dialysis treatments will help to control the amount of fluid that accumulates in the body. You will have less swelling in your legs, hands, feet, and face.

3. There is an accumulation of extra minerals in our blood when our kidneys are not able to filter the blood. For example phosphorus.

The accumulation of phosphorus causes calcification of tissues in the heart, arteries, lungs, and other organs.

Dialysis treatment along with a low phosphorus diet will:

Reduce the amount of phosphorus in your blood and

Protect your organs from calcification

4.When any area of the body doesn’t receive adequate blood flow, it may develop painful wounds. Phosphorus control helps prevent enlarged parathyroid glands too much parathyroid hormone. Too much of parathyroid hormone can cause low calcium, bones become weak and they break more easily.

5. Dialysis helps to maintain a safe level of potassium in your blood i.e. 3.5-5.5. A high level of potassium causes muscle weakness, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and cardiac arrest.

So it’s important that you come in all dialysis treatment and stay the prescribed time so that your blood can be adequately cleaned.

How long can someone live on dialysis?

Someone requires dialysis treatment for his/her whole life unless he/she is able to get a kidney transplant. The life expectancy on dialysis depends on the other medical conditions you have and whether you come in all dialysis treatments or not. The average life expectancy on kidney dialysis is 5-10 years. However, many patients have lived well for 20 years to 30 years on dialysis. It’s important that you come in all dialysis treatments and stay the prescribed time so that your blood can be adequately cleaned.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Kidney dialysis life expectancy

The life expectancy on dialysis depends on the other medical conditions you have and whether you come in all dialysis treatments or not. The average life expectancy on kidney dialysis is 5-10 years. However, many patients have lived well for 20 years to 30 years on dialysis.

how long can someone live on dialysis with diabetes

The five years survival rate after the start of dialysis for diabetes is about 29%.

how long can someone live on kidney dialysis

The life expectancy on dialysis depends on the other medical conditions you have and whether you come in all dialysis treatments or not. The average life expectancy on kidney dialysis is 5-10 years. However, many patients have lived well for 20 years to 30 years on dialysis. So, someone can live on dialysis for 5-10 years on average

how long can someone live on dialysis without kidney function

Someone can live on dialysis for 5-10 years on average without kidney function. However, many patients have lived well for 20 years to 30 years on dialysis. It’s important that you come in all dialysis treatments and stay the prescribed time so that your blood can be adequately cleaned.

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