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Top 5 Tips to Extend Your Kidney Dialysis Life Expectancy

kidney dialysis life expectancy

When you are first diagnosed with kidney failure (eGFR of 15 ml/min or below), many emotions may arise: anger, shock, panic, despair, and a feeling of complete hopelessness. You try to hold your composure and recount the past days, weeks, and months that lead up to this event to see if there were any signs or past actions that may have caused this.

You draw a blank and the only thing you are left wondering is “how do we fix this?”

This is when disbelief really sets in. The only form of treatment that your doctor provides you is either kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation. Both of which are highly invasive and complicated.

For the purposes of this article we will be discussing kidney dialysis as a treatment option, as this is the most common treatment choice for most sufferers of kidney failure.

The life changing effects that these treatments have on your life are both profound, but unfortunately even these drastic measures do not offer healthy increases to life expectancy for the “average” person once they are diagnosed with kidney failure.

Kidney Failure Life Expectancy

Kidney failure life expectancy, like anything depends on many variables, some of which you can control, and others that you cannot control: age, gender, genes, race, diet, lifestyle choices, what caused your condition (etiology), the type of treatment you choose, etc.

It is therefore prudent to exercise your will to give yourself the best chance of being the “lucky*” ones that live for 20+ years on dialysis. (*luck definition = where preparation and action meet)

Once again it should be noted that we are discussing life expectancy in relationship to kidney failure. This means that the kidneys are now functioning at or below 15% – also termed as End-Stage-Kidney-Failure or Stage 5 Kidney Failure. It is important to make this distinction, because the life expectancy severely drops once at this level.

Let’s take a look at some of the stats…
• The life expectancy of a kidney failure patient with an eGFR of 10ml/min or less, ranges from 1 to 12 months without treatment of any kind (e.g. dialysis, transplant, natural medicine). The average is 6 months.
(Szeto CC, et el. Nephrology (Carlton). 2011 Nov;16(8):715-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1797.2011.01504.x.)
• The average life expectancy of someone receiving kidney dialysis is 4.25 years.
• The 10 year kidney dialysis life expectancy is 23%.
(Mailloux LU,et el. Clin Nephrol. 1994 Aug;42(2):127-35.)