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.) read more

Kidney News Weekly #2: A Round Up of the Top 6 Kidney News Stories


kidney news

Welcome to my second edition of News Weekly! The place where I do a round up of all the top stories related to kidneys, kidney health and kidney failure for the week.

The featured news stories for this week cover everything from a potential new treatment that may halt the progression of kidney failure; feel-good stories where family members give their loved ones a new lease of life; clinical studies on how diet impacts the progression of kidney failure, and many more. But rather than me tell you about them…

Here are the top 6 news stories for the week:

News Story #1

Research aims to prevent diabetic kidney failure
The enzyme arginase-2 plays a major role in kidney failure, and blocking the action of this enzyme might lead to protection against renal disease in diabetes, according to researchers. “We believe these arginase inhibitors may be one of the new targets …

News Story #2

Comment: Here are two articles on the same story. The first is for the more technically minded, the second is in plain english. The articles are a another great example of the power that diet has on the human body in preventing and treating kidney disease.

Intensive treatment preserves kidney function in patients with type 1 diabetes

“Our primary outcome was an estimated GFR less than 60 milliliters per minute, which represents a substantial loss of kidney function and is known to confer an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death; essentially, it’s stage-III chronic …

Intense Kidney Protection
People can develop end-stage renal disease (the complete or almost complete failure of the kidneys) when they have an impaired glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – the volume of fluid filtered from the kidney. Dr. de Boer and colleagues wanted find out …

News Story #3

Comment: Here is a feel good story where a 14 y.o. daughter was able to save her mother’s life.

read more

Kidney News Weekly #1: A Round Up of the Top Kidney News Stories


kidney news

I thought I would do something a little different today. I thought I would do a weekly round-up of the all the top news related to the kidneys and kidney health. But further to that, I plan to do this as a regular featured post each and every week to keep you up to date with all the latest (and best) information on the web. The web is a big place, and so by doing this I would like to make it a little smaller by “distilling” all the information for you, making this the place to go to when you want the facts. Any news related to community events, scientific breakthroughs, diet, medicines, treatments, etc. related to kidney health, I will report it here!

But I won’t just leave it there, my goal will also to report on other stories that I feel that you might find interesting, inspiring, funny, and/or enlightening. In fact it is my hope that it gives you and me the opportunity to get off the beaten path and explore the many facets of life, health, and kidneys.

So here is how it will generally work:

1. I will post the links to the main news stories of the past week with a small description, and if needed, a few comments by myself to give you further insight.

2. You click on the link, and it will take you to the website that is reporting the news. Done!

OK, so let’s get on with it shall we? Excellent.

News Story #1

New Study in NEJM Offers Hope to Lupus Patients with Kidney Disease
Nephrologists at the Miller School of Medicine have played a key role in an international study that has uncovered an effective therapy for treating patients with lupus nephritis, a debilitating kidney disease linked to lupus. …

News Story #2

Vitamin B derivative helps diabetics with mild kidney disease
A vitamin B6 derivative may help slow or prevent the progression of mild kidney disease in patients with diabetes, according to a study appearing in an issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The drug may benefit increasing …

read more

Is Your “Diet” Harming Your Kidneys?


You have kidney disease, you want to eat healthy, and you’ve been told one of the best ways to do so is to eat a low sugar diet. In an effort to do so you turn to “diet” drinks (and foods), you look at the nutritional panel and see there are ZERO sugars present in the drink.

You have no reason to doubt that this food or drink is not healthy for you, you put your trust in the FDA (or your government) to make sure all foods and drinks that are “passed” are healthy and safe for you and your family… And so it will come as a shock when I tell you that studies have now proven diet drinks are harmful to your kidneys.

In a study conducted by Dr Julie Lin and Dr Gary Curhan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 3000 women over 11 years were studied to see what effect drinking two or more diet drinks had on kidney function.

After taking into consideration high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, age, and heart disease, the clinical study clearly showed that two or more serves of diet drinks a day doubles the risk of more-rapid-than-normal kidney function decline. “In women with well-preserved kidney function, higher dietary sodium intake was associated with greater kidney function decline, which is consistent with experimental animal data that high sodium intake promotes progressive kidney decline.” said Dr Julie Lin.

What the study does not tell us however is what aspect of the diet drink actually causes the declining kidney function; the two possibilities being, the sodium content and the artificial sweetener aspartame. “While more study is needed, our research suggests that higher sodium and artificially sweetened soda intake are associated with greater rate of decline in kidney function.” said Dr Julie Lin.

Artificial Sweetener? More Like Artificial Poison
It is my belief however that the major player in causing the decline in kidney function is artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame – the most common artificial sweetener). The overwhelming proof and evidence shows that aspartame is in no way safe for human consumption at any level. read more

Baked Quinoa and Broccoli Frittata


Hello! Today I like to share with you a healthy and delicious recipe that not only will make your taste buds sing, but will also be protective of your kidney function and help support tissue alkalinity.

I know for many eating a healthy kidney diet can be the struggle, and so I hope this recipe can be another tool in your toolbox in beating kidney disease.

Baked Quinoa and Broccoli Frittata

This quick and easy dish provides an interesting twist on your common frittata.

Quinoa is a South American staple and is one of the few alkaline “grains” (technically it is a seed).  If you are sure what quinoa is or how to cook with it, don’t worry, if you can cook with rice, then you can cook with quinoa.

This recipes strengths lie in the fact it is gluten and dairy free, and soundly alkaline – all three being an important factor in maintain kidney health. Being “gluten free” is particularly important for those with IgA Nephropathy as it helps reduce the load on the immune system. Gluten is an “aggravator” to the immune system.

Alrightly, without further ado, here is your recipe for the day…

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 1 cup quinoa (measure before cooked)
• 2 cups broccoli florets
• ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
• ¼ teaspoon crushed pepper
• 1 ½ cups soymilk
• 4 eggs
• Lemon wedge (optional)


1.   Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush a casserole dish with a thin layer of olive oil.
2.   Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups of water over medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the celtic sea salt while the quinoa is cooking. Most of the liquid should have disappeared after 15 minutes.
3.   Once cooked, stir through the quinoa, place the broccoli on top and turn off the cooker, leaving the saucepan on top.
4.   While the quinoa is cooking beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix in the pepper and soymilk.
5.   Place the cooked quinoa in the casserole dish and cover with the egg and soymilk mixture. Bake for up to 45 minutes, removing from the oven when the dish has browned on top.
6.   Once cooked, sit the dish for 10 minutes and then cut into slices and serve.
Optional: Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top to your taste preference.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

  • Potassium: 531mg
  • Protein: 16g
  • Phosphorus: 361mg
  • Sodium: 419mg

This dish is great as it does not involve too many ingredients and is relatively simple to make. The other great thing is that it keeps well for a couple of the days, so you can enjoy the next day for lunch too!

Also don’t be shy in playing around with the flavours of this dish, add some spices, or chopped vegetables to make it even a bigger hit (e.g. mushrooms).

Please let me know in the comments section below how you get on with this kidney recipe; if you enjoyed it; and possibly ways to even make it better – though anything with broccoli for me is a winner (I’m a bit of a broccoli fiend.)

Thank you once again for stopping by, and look forward to chatting with you next week.

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