My father is in intensive care on dialysis...the doctor said his kidneys are running at 19 percent and they are at 4...what does the 4 mean? He also says my father will have to be on dialysis three days a week for the rest of his life. And my father has already said he won't do that...how long does he have if he opts out of dialysis?
It is hard to speak out a exact number. You know kidney failure patients may develop various complications which usually are the final causes of their death. Therefore, it is really hard to tell you how long your father can live without dialysis.
Even we can not speak out your father's life span, we are sure his life quality and life span with be increased with the follow measures:
1. Keep kidney failure symptoms under control
We know when kidney disease develops to advanced stage, patients always suffer from various symptoms like high blood pressure, proteinuria, blood urine, anemia and so on. These symptoms are not life-threatening, but if we do not put them under tight control, they will worsen our kidney conditions seriously and push us into a more dangerous condition. Therefore, it is very helpful if your father can bring his symptoms under control.
2. Change diet habits
We may not allowed to eat what we like once our kidneys fail to function well. Kidneys are responsible for discharging wastes produced by our body, so that we can live freely without being affected by the toxins. However, once kidneys are failed, toxins or wastes build up in the blood. The more the toxins are, the more dangerous we are. Therefore, changing our dietary habits to reduce the production of toxin is very essential.
Usually, kidney failure patients need to follow low-protein diet, low-salt diet, low-potassium diet and low-phosphorus diet if lad test show they have high level of potassium and phosphorus. The is the general introduction about diet for kidney failure patients. Because of different illness condition, patients may need to follow different dietary principles.
3. Develop good living habits
Avoid staying up,drinking alcohol, smoking and having frequent contact with smoker.
Dialysis helps to remove toxins from our blood, even though it is not a perfect and long-term solution. How is your father's GFR and does he has urine output? You know not everyone with kidney failure will definitely suffer from dialysis and if your father's present illness condition is not bad enough to rely on dialysis, it is totally possible for him to live a longer time without dialysis by increasing some kidney function.
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