Living on dialysis: Hundreds of thousands of people with advanced kidney disease, require dialysis treatments to clean their blood.
But far fewer people in the world, have lived with dialysis for more than 20 years.
The longest surviving patient on dialysis in India is a farmer from Karnataka, on dialysis for the last 25yrs.
Guinness World Records lists a British man as having lived the longest on dialysis, 42 years and 85 days between 1975 and 2017. There is news about women in the U.S. – who have been on dialysis for 42 years.
“Living on dialysis every day like it’s your last, that’s what I do,” says one of the patients who’s been on dialysis for 40 years.
When kidney functionality drops below 15% to 10%, a patient needs dialysis.
Dialyzer is essentially an artificial kidney. In a hemodialysis process, the dialyzer filters the blood outside the body – and then returns the blood to the body. In this process, the dialyzer removes excess fluid, wastes, and toxins that would normally be excreted through urine.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, around 1 million people rely on hemodialysis.
But, according to Dr. Kavitha, the average life expectancy of a dialysis patient is around five to 10 years. She further adds that those people who do best on dialysis accept it as part of their routine.
So, what makes people live longer and healthier on dialysis?
A lot of people get scared or depressed upon hearing about dialysis.
“It’s the fear of the unknown”
You don’t have to. Dialysis done properly under expert guidance can be done without any significant problems.
2. Educate yourself
Ask your doctor about your dialysis treatment – what is it? how it is done? Read about it. The more you know about your treatment, the better will be your understanding of the issues and problems.
Follow the dietary restrictions — limit fluid intake, 2gm per day of salt, limit potassium and other diets which the doctor advises.
Because knowing how to live healthily is more important.
Learn to live as normal a life as possible.
Happy Living is more important.
Continue working, don’t stop. Take your work with you to the dialysis
Don’t let your dialysis limit your outings or holidays.
Go out with friends and family.
Regular exercise of 30-40 minutes per day is mandatory.
Any exercise like walking, jogging, yoga, and stretches are fine.
4. Do not miss dialysis
Most of the complications or problems on dialysis are due to missing your dialysis treatment
The more regular dialysis treatments you take as per doctors’ advice, the longer you live.
Do not miss your dialysis whilst on holiday
Plan your holiday, research hospitals providing dialysis at your destination ahead of time and become a temporary patient.
“You can do anything if you have the will to live,” says Dr. Kavitha.