I Do Not Want Dialysis: How Long Can I Expect To Live And How Would I Feel
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- How would I feel if I refuse dialysis?
- Would my life span be shortened if I refuse dialysis?
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SURVIVAL AND LIFE SPAN WITH AND WITHOUT DIALYSIS “co-morbidities”whether they chose dialysis or notFUNCTIONAL STATUS AND QUALITY OF LIFE WITHOUT DIALYSISoccasional assistance till about the last monthTO DIALYZE OR NOT TO DIALYZE: A NOTE OF CAUTION
Living Kidney Donation Is Safe
If you are healthy, donating a kidney wont make you more likely to get sick or have major health problems. Like any surgery, the procedure does have some risks. But overall, living kidney donation is safe. In most cases, donating a kidney will not not raise your risk of kidney disease, diabetes, or other health problems.
The Role Of Kidneys In The Human Body
Although many people dont think about their kidneys, they are some of the hardest-working organs in the body. The kidneys are responsible for filtering more than 120 quarts of blood every single day. The waste products that are filtered out are quickly eliminated by the body in the form of urine, composed of excess salts, fats, toxins and liquid. The ureter is connected to the kidney , and flows down into the bladder, where urine is stored and then eliminated from the body.
Aside from assuring that waste is properly disposed of, kidneys are also critical to the balance of electrolytes in our body. Minerals like sodium, potassium and calcium, among others, help to maintain water balance in the system, as well as optimize nervous system communication. Without the kidneys functioning, or present, the body would not be able to function. The composition of our blood must remain stable, if we are to remain healthy, and the kidneys guarantee that happens.
Furthermore, kidneys produce key hormones that the body requires, such as hormones for strengthening bones, creating new red blood cells and maintaining blood pressure. Clearly, while the kidneys are often overlooked behind major organs like the brain, heart and lungs, they are just as critical to our survival.
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Does Kidney Failure Cause Pain
Normal functioning kidneys filter amyloid from the blood stream. In kidney failure amyloid proteins in the blood rise, and can separate and clump together forming amyloid deposits into a variety of tissue and organs, including joints and tendons. This can result in symptoms of:
- Patients who are on dialysis may have discomfort when on the dialysis machine.
Underlying chronic disease pain
- Pain is often a consequence of the underlying chronic disease that led to kidney failure, for example:
- People with poorly controlled diabetes may develop diabetic neuropathy pain.
- People who have peripheral vascular disease also may have pain in their extremities, and may develop claudication .
Growing Up With One Kidney
It is true, you can live with only one kidney. Some people are born with only one because the other one did not grow properly. Other times, the two kidneys touch each other when they are first growing and join together, making one kidney shaped like a horseshoe. People with these types of kidneys have to be very careful because they might get sick more easily than someone who has two kidneys.
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Who Can Be A Living Donor
Family members are often the most likely to be compatible living kidney donors, but many people undergo successful transplants with kidneys donated from people who are not related to them. Living donors will have a full medical exam, must be at least 18 years old, and in good physical and mental health. Different transplant centers have different limits on who can donate. The Kidney Transplant Learning Center offers resources on how to prepare to make the living donor ask and/or to have a family member or friend serve as a living donor champion.
Is Kidney Failure Permanent
Usually, but not always. Some kinds of acute kidney failure, also known as acute renal failure, get better after treatment. In some cases of acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better.
In chronic or end stage kidney failure, your kidneys do not get better and you will need dialysis for the rest of your life. If your doctor says you are a candidate, you may choose to be placed on a waiting list for a new kidney.
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How Common Is A Solitary Kidney
Globally, an estimated 1 in 2,000 babies1 are born each year with kidney agenesis and between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 4,300 babies are born with kidney dysplasia. The estimates are probably low because some babies are never diagnosed with these conditions, particularly in countries where pregnant women do not routinely undergo prenatal ultrasounds.
Between 2008 and 2017, more than 58,000 Americans gave a kidney2 as living donors and more than 255,000 people had a kidney surgically removed to treat cancer,3 leaving them with solitary kidneys.
What Causes Kidney Disease
Kidney diseases happen when your kidneys are damaged and cant filter your blood. The damage can happen quickly when its caused by injury or toxins or, more commonly, over months or years.
- Glomerulonephritis. This type of kidney disease involves damage to the glomeruli, which are the filtering units inside your kidneys.
- Polycystic kidney disease. This is a genetic disorder that causes many fluid-filled cysts to grow in your kidneys, reducing the ability of your kidneys to function.
- Hypertensive nephrosclerosis. Kidney damage caused by chronic, poorly controlled hypertension.
- Membranous nephropathy. This is a disorder where your bodys immune system attacks the waste-filtering membranes in your kidney.
- Obstructions of the urinary tract from kidney stones, an enlarged prostate or cancer.
- Vesicourethral reflux. This is a condition in which urine flows backward refluxes back up the ureters to the kidneys
- Nephrotic syndrome. This is a collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage.
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Will Kidney Failure Affect My Sleep
People who have kidney failure may have trouble sleeping. Sleep loss can affect your quality of life, energy level, and mood. Restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, pain, or itching may make it hard for you to sleep.
You can take a number of steps to improve your sleep habits. For example, physical activity during the day and a warm bath before bed may help you sleep better at night. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Avoid smoking.
Talk with your health care provider if you often feel sleepy during the day or have trouble sleeping at night. Health care providers can treat sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
Protecting Your Single Kidney From Injury
If you have a single kidney, injuring it can be a big problem because there isnt another one to compensate. If the injury is severe and your kidney stops working completely, you would need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
To avoid this, its very important to protect your single kidney from injury. Avoid contact sports that could lead to kidney injury. These include:
- bungee jumping
Over the long term, unless your kidney gets injured, loss of function in your single kidney is usually very mild and unnoticeable.
Most people with a single kidney dont need to follow a special diet, but like people with two kidneys, you should eat a healthy balanced diet.
Staying normally hydrated and drinking when thirsty is better than overhydration or dehydration.
If you have a single kidney because you had a transplant or if you have kidney disease, you may need to limit the amount of sodium, phosphorous, and protein in your diet. This is because your kidney cant remove them from your blood very well, so they build up.
You may also have to limit the amount of fluids you drink.
Talk to your healthcare provider about your nutritional needs and dietary restrictions.
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How Long Will I Need Dialysis For
It depends. In some cases, kidney failure may be a temporary problem and dialysis can be stopped when your kidneys recover.
But often, someone with kidney failure will need a kidney transplant.
It’s not always possible to carry out a kidney transplant straight away, so dialysis may be needed until a suitable donor kidney becomes available.
If a kidney transplant is not suitable for you for example, because you’re not well enough to have a major operation dialysis may be needed for the rest of your life.
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Failure
In early stages of kidney disease, many people experience few or no symptoms. Its important to note that chronic kidney disease can still cause damage even though you feel fine.
Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure can cause different symptoms for different people. If your kidneys arent working properly, you may notice one or more of the following signs:
- Poor appetite or metallic taste of food
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Taking Care Of Your Remaining Kidney
One kidney is enough to filter your blood to keep it clean and healthy. If you have one kidney removed, as long as your other one works normally there should be no ill effects.
Your GP should monitor your blood pressure regularly . This is to make sure that the remaining kidney stays healthy. If your blood pressure increases, they can give you medicine to control it.
But its still important that you take care of your remaining kidney.
Kidneys Are Sensitive To Their Environment
Humans are a complex and integrated creation and the kidneys work with the rest of your organs to help you live a healthy life. Unfortunately, when one organ or system fails to work properly, others can begin to fail as a result.
Whether they begin the process of failure, or are responding to other organ failures, when the kidneys falter, many life-altering issues can result.
Like any intricate machine, the kidney is highly sensitive to its environment. Every time our heart beats, the kidneys get about 20 percent of the blood that is pumped. If the kidneys do not receive enough blood, they will start to deteriorate.
Many acute illnesses, which are illnesses or medical conditions with severe or sudden onset, can cause blood flow to fall. So its very common to have acute kidney injury whenever we get acutely ill.
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How Is Kidney Failure Diagnosed
After the patients initial evaluation by the doctor of its signs and symptoms, it will suggest that the patient has Kidney Failure, these are some of the tests that the doctor will ask for.
- Urine output measurements in 24 hours to determine the cause of kidney failure.
- Urine tests: Analyzing a sample of the urine may reveal abnormalities that suggest kidney failure.
- Blood tests: A sample of blood may reveal a sudden increase in urea and creatinine. These two are the most common substances used to measure kidney functionality.
- Imaging tests: The doctor may ask for imaging studies like ultrasound or computerized tomography to see the kidneys.
- Kidney biopsy: Removing a sample of kidney tissue for testing may reveal a lot from the disease and what causes it. The doctor inserts a needle through the skin and into the kidney to remove the sample.
When Should I Call The Doctor
A nephrologist receives special training in kidney evaluation and treatment. You may benefit from a kidney specialists expert opinion if:
- You have trouble keeping your blood pressure levels in a normal range, even with medication.
- Your blood sugar levels fluctuate widely.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/10/2018.
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Myth: Kidney Disease Is Very Rare
FACT: Chronic kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death, globally. According to the World Health Organization, the estimated prevalence of chronic kidney disease worldwide is 8-16 per cent in adults above 30 years of age. Stressful lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits contribute to increased incidence of diabetes, hypertension and obesity thus increasing the kidney disease risk.
What Are The Risks For Kidney Transplant
As with any surgery, complications can occur. Some complications mayinclude:
Blockage of the blood vessels to the new kidney
Leakage of urine or blockage of urine in the ureter
Lack of function of the new kidney at first
The new kidney may be rejected. Rejection is a normal reaction of the bodyto a foreign object or tissue. When a new kidney is transplanted into arecipient’s body, the immune system reacts to what it thinks as a threatand attacks the new organ. For a transplanted organ to survive, medicinesmust be taken to trick the immune system into accepting the transplant andnot attacking it as a foreign object.
The medicines used to prevent or treat rejection have side effects. Theexact side effects will depend on the specific medicines that are taken.
Not everyone is a candidate for kidney transplantation. You may not beeligible if you have:
Current or recurring infection that cannot be treated effectively
Cancer that has spread from its original location to elsewhere in the body
Severe heart or other health problems that make it unsafe to have surgery
Serious conditions other than kidney disease that would not get better after transplantation
Failing to follow the treatment plan
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Besure to discuss any concerns with your transplant team before theprocedure.
More Information About Organ Donation from Johns Hopkins Medicine
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How Many Kidneys Are In The Human Body
The human body normally has two kidneys. These fist-sized organs are located in the back part of the abdomen, just below the rib cage, on either side of the spine. Their primary function is to filter the blood and remove waste from the body.
The kidneys also help maintain the proper fluid balance in the body. The kidneys filter all the blood in the body around 12 times an hour, removing excess fluid and waste and manufacturing urine. Occasionally, someone is born with just one kidney or loses a kidney due to disease or injury. The body functions well with just one kidney in these instances, but at least some kidney function is necessary for life.
Myth: Drinking 8 Glasses Of Water A Day Helps Flush Out The Toxins In The Kidneys
FACT: There is no medical evidence to support this statement. Drinking large amounts of water do not protect from kidney disease. Thirst controls the desire to drink water and should determine the amount of fluid intake. Patients who are undergoing treatment for kidney disease are often advised to drink less salt and fluids as fluid retention can cause shortness of breath, swollen ankles and increase in weight gain.
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Whats It Like To Live With One Kidney
Most people have two kidneys, but some only have one. There are three main reasons why this could be:
A person is born with only one kidney.
About one in 750 people is born with only one kidney. The medical term for this condition, which is more common in men than women, is renal agenesis. Usually its the left kidney that is missing. Because it is possible to be healthy with one kidney, some people dont find out they have one missing until its discovered on an X-ray or sonogram.
A kidney has been removed due to health problems.
A nephrectomy the surgical removal of a kidney can be necessary if a kidney has been damaged by cancer or another disease, or injured in an accident.
A person donates a kidney.
Every year, thousands of people donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a healthy one. The recipient is often a blood relative or someone whos close to the donor, such as a spouse or friend. Approximately 87,000 kidneys from living donors were donated from 1988-2008.
What precautions should people take if they have one kidney?
Much of the advice that applies to living with one kidney goes for everybody: eat right, exercise, sustain a healthy weight, stay hydrated and get regular doctor checkups. However, there are special precautions that should be taken by someone living with a single kidney:
What happens if the kidney starts to fail?
Symptoms of kidney failure include:
How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Solitary Kidney
During pregnancy, a health care professional can diagnose kidney agenesis and kidney dysplasia while conducting a prenatal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses a device, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off the fetuss organs to create an image of their structure. Ultrasounds during pregnancy are part of routine prenatal testing.
If a fetus is diagnosed with kidney agenesis or kidney dysplasia, health care professionals may recommend additional ultrasounds before and after the birth to find out how the solitary kidney functions over time and to check for other health problems.
In an adult, health care professionals may diagnose a solitary kidney during an x-ray, ultrasound, or surgery for some other condition or injury.
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