How Long Can You Live On Dialysis (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 10 years

In the dialysis process, there are some processes done to your body. These processes would have been done for a healthy kidney. The requirement of this process arises when the person’s kidneys are not able to do their job for the body. After the kidneys fail to function (end stage of kidney failure) then the dialysis process is done by trained medical practitioners.

From removing the waste and maintaining the blood pressure of humans, the job of dialysis is more than just these two. The dialysis process can help humans to live around 10 years on an average calculation. Whereas, there are some people that may survive around 20 years if the age is less.

The lifespan of a human if undergoing the process of dialysis would depend on the person’s age and body conditions.

How Long Can You Live On Dialysis?

Dialysis Process How Long Can You Live On Dialysis (Average Lifespan)
Minimum lifespan 5 years
Maximum lifespan 10 years

The average lifespan of the person undergoing dialysis is not the same for everyone. This is because it depends on the condition of the person’s kidney. There are some types of kidney failure that can be cured after a few treatments. These kidney failures are known as acute kidney failure. In such conditions, dialysis will not be required after a specified time period.

If the person has to get done the dialysis process for a long time, then the lifespan would be less. For example, the person goes through the dialysis process after end-stage kidney failure, then long-term survival chances are low. An adult under 65 to 75 years may live for a long time (up to 20 years).

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Any adult above the age of 65 or 70 years may not survive more than 5 to 10 years under the dialysis process. The health conditions of human is another vital point to consider for predicting the lifespan after the dialysis process. If the person is healthy with very few health problems, then the life expectancy would be extremely long.

If someone is having the dialysis process done but has many other health problems such as hypertension or blood sugar level, then the life expectancy may decrease for that person.

Why Can You Live This Long On Dialysis?

There are many hospitals that are doing the dialysis process with all the safety concerns. The person can survive for around 10 years (Average) on dialysis. The dialysis process is a good replacement for the working of healthy kidneys. The dialysis process would help in the following manner:
Would contribute to removing waste from the body. The waste such as water (extra) and salt as may build up in the person’s body.

Stores good and safe chemicals in the required level inside the body. These chemicals are generally potassium, bicarbonate, and sodium.

Help in maintaining the blood pressure (or hypertension).

Basically, all these functions are performed by the kidneys. Now, if the kidney is not able to function, then dialysis would be a substitute process.

The shelf life of humans may also depend on the type of dialysis they are on. There are mainly two types of dialysis. These are peritoneal and hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is mainly done as a temporary treatment for the person, but some people may get it done for a long time period. In the hemodialysis process, an artificial kidney is used for the dialysis process.

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While in peritoneal dialysis the doctor uses a catheter (plastic tube) to clean the blood inside the body. For both the dialysis process, the average years of survival would be around 10 years or less. The dialysis process is quite time-taking, and some people may experience a drop in blood pressure.

It’s vital to take all the precautions and to follow the instruction of the doctor if you’re on dialysis.

Conclusion

If the person’s kidneys are failed (end-stage failure), then the dialysis process would be required for the remaining lifetime. The person can live for an average of 10 years or beyond. It depends on how the person takes care of the body and how the body reacts to the dialysis process.

References

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199805143382006
  2. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/abs/10.7326/0003-4819-88-4-449
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