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Author Topic: What happens when your kidney function stops completely?  (Read 13068 times)
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Posts: 28
« on: June 25, 2009, 02:08:16 PM PDT »

I can't seem to find much information on what happens when you start HD and your kidneys fail completely. I've heard that you stop urinating, but that's about it? What other side effects of complete kidney failure while doind HD are experienced?


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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 03:23:56 PM PDT »

I had no kidneys for 12 years.   They took them out when I was 12.  The biggest thing I learned was you really have to watch the fluid intake.  People on more frequent or daily dialysis have less fluid restrictions.  Also, potassium can build up faster because you have no urine output.

I don't recall any specific physical side effects. 

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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 07:10:17 PM PDT »

My "native" kidneys were removed about 2 years before my first transplant in 1972.  The only thing that happened is I stopped urinating.  Back then we were required to be on strict salt-free diets and fluid was a huge no no except for sips to take pills.  Because of that I didn't gain much water weight between dialysis treatments.

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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 11:53:59 PM PDT »

I stopped urinating about 2 years after I started PD. Not sure but I know it was before I started HD.  Also I became anemic and had to watch my diet more. Dialysis can only do so much after all especially if it is only 3 times a week. More is better of course. The main thing I noticed was my friends suddenly loved to take me on road trips Smiley Grin

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PD/HD: 6.75 yrs
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 10:13:32 AM PDT »

In my early years on hemodialysis, I did have residual function.  Not alot..but enough.  Now many years later, I have none, I do not urinate.  The fluid is retained in the body, when you go to dialysis it will be taken off with the machine.  Everyone differs in function.

They will give you what is called a 'dry weight'.  This 'dry weight' will be the target to how the machine is set to take that fluid off.
I usually go in a fluid gain of 1-2 kilograms.  (1 kilogram is equivalent to 1 bag of saline)  They will therefore look at the 'current weight' (you will be weighed before treatment and after treatment in kilograms)  then they will take that current and subtract your 'dry weight'. That amount will be what has to be taken off...they also will add in for the prime and rinse...this is saline given when starting and finishing dialysis.  Ok, I hope I didn't confuse you.

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Returned to hemodialysis 1999. 
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Coach Richie
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 12:02:05 PM PDT »

Hi, Scooter!

I echo what everyone else has said.

One "side effect" from hemodialysis that I had was insomnia. I was constantly fatigued.
I did work full-time. My dialysis hours were 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM.
When I got home, I maybe got 3 hours of sleep.
That meant on my non-dialysis nights, I went to bed early!
I was scheduled for Monday-Wednesday-Friday.
Therefore, my "tough " days were Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Some more considerations for you! Wink

Peace and Blessings!

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Polycystic Kidney Disease
Diagnosed 1970
Transplanted 1998 (Living unrelated donor: my wife)
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 04:31:45 PM PDT »

I can't seem to find much information on what happens when you start HD and your kidneys fail completely. I've heard that you stop urinating, but that's about it? What other side effects of complete kidney failure while doind HD are experienced?


Hello Scooter,

I know you are having uncertainties about what to expect when your kidney function is completely gone.  Well when I was diagnosed with the end stage renal disease, I was told that dialysis definitely was in the immediate future for me, but in the last decade they have come up with stages to monitor an individuals kidney function, I wasn't as fortunate, because they weren't monitoring renal patients that way, your neprologist just get you prepared to began a form of dialysis treatment to help in managing your surivival with the end stage renal disease, and because of the stages that they follow these days, patient usually start dialysis with some kidney function, (meaning they can still urinate and still get some of the toxic and excessive fluids removed from their bodies, I think is very clever and quite beneficial to today's patient developing end stage renal disease.  I also would like to mention when my neprologist felt it was time for me to start dialysis, I had about two months for my initial dialysis day, I had my graft surgically placed in my arm, and as I was waiting around for my graft to mature, I started showing signs that I really need to start hemodialysis soon, for instance, I couldn't keep any food down, everything was coming up, even the pink stuff (pepto) that I took for my upset stomach, and of course I had bleeding from my nose, and I noticed my feet were swelling right before my eyes, I was grateful to God that all this didn't occur until my graft had completely matured, I only had several days left for the healing process.  Well anyway there is more that I could share with you, but too much to go into on this post, I tell you what, I self-published a book earlier this year, based on my endurances with the polycystic kidney disease and dialysis, if you are interested it is available online at, the bookstore, you can search the lower right sidebar - my title - My Renal Life - and an image of the front cover will appear, right under the image is a brief description of the book, and you can click on My Renal Life - and click on the author bio and also on this page you can access an excerpt of the book, and you can also leave me a personal message under contact the author, You can leave your email address to if you wish, and I'm also on facebook.

In the meantime, I say to every fellow dialysis patient, Don't let this disease control you, You control the Disease.



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Gloria A. Jeff-Moore
Hemo - 10 years
Peritoneal Dialysis - 10th Year (Current)
First Transplant - 1993
Author - My Renal Life & My Twenty Year Journey with PKD in the Dialysis - reside (bay area - Calif)
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