• 1 month ago

    Is Dialysis always needed when levels are below 6%

    My sister has had kidney failure for many years. For the past 10 years it was mostly around 18% functionality. Over the past year it has gone down to 5-6%. With that said, she feels perfectly fine. She has no water retention, no heart noise (I forgot the name of the noise they look for), has driven to from the Northwoods several times without issue, is not nauseous, no muscle cramps, vomiting or any of the other symptoms of kidney failure. Again - she feels fine.

    They've been letting her be because why make her feel like crap if she feels fine. Well, the other day they decided she needed to start dialysis three times a week starting tomorrow. They're fitting her with a port today. Now she will feel like crap 6 days a week.

    Is it REALLY necessary for her to start dialysis if she has no symptoms? Aren't there other options? She lives in the Northwoods of Wisconsin (literally). So sadly I don't necessarily trust those doctors. Well, I don't trust any doctor who's going to make her feel sick when she doesn't now.

    Thoughts, second opinions, ideas? Could any of her other medications cause problems, like the one she takes for gout or HBP? What about certain foods that I'm 'sure' she shouldn't be eating. What about pills she takes for helping her to absorb more calcium? Just love my sister a lot and want to make sure she's making the most sound decisions. Oh, let's not forget to mention that she's 63, about 5'7", over 250 pounds and is very inactive. She also still has her period from month to month and should have a hysterectomy to relieve that problem since no treatment or D&C's have helped. So lots of blood loss from time to time. Could gall bladder issues cause anything? My mother and I both had 'sand like crystals' in our gall bladders, not stones.

    It just seems that in this case there is another solution, or perhaps problem that is causing this.


  • 1 month ago

    RE: Is Dialysis always needed when levels are below 6%

    The things you listed can be symptoms, but they aren't the real issues. She won't notice fluid accumulation on her chest, until she can't breathe. And she won't notice her high potassium (and I can pretty much guarantee it's high) until she has a heart attack. And she won't notice the calcium/phosphorus imbalance slowly destroying her bones until she suddenly breaks something.

    And since I've been there, I can tell you she's not feeling well. Her body has just gotten used to not having enough kidney function. Or hemoglobin (your kidneys help produce this - so she's anemic).

    One little thing, a cold, a virus, an infection. And it could kill her becasue at that low level of kidney function her immune system is not working properly either. She's an accident or maybe even sudden death waiting to happen.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but she needs to be on dialysis if she wants to live out the year. And it may be a bit tough the first few weeks to adjust, you can lead a good life. I adjusted and even felt well enough to go to Disneyworld for a week.