Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Failure: How Long Can You Live on Dialysis

At stage 4 kidney failure, severe kidney damage has happened. At this stage, it is very important to slow the loss of kidney function by following your treatment plan, and managing other problems like high blood pressure or heart disease. Even if you get treatment in stage 4 and are careful about your health, your kidneys may still fail. If kidney failure happens, you will need a kidney transplant or dialysis to live.

Dialysis refers to a treatment that performs some of the same things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body’s needs.

How long can you live on dialysis?

We do not yet know how long patients on dialysis will live. We think that some dialysis patients may live as long as people without kidney failure.

A healthy diet for stage 4 chronic kidney failure may recommend:

Including grains, fruits and vegetables, but limiting whole grains and certain fruits and vegetables if blood tests show phosphorus or potassium levels are above normal.

A diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fats, especially if cholesterol is high or if you have diabetes or heart disease.

Aiming for a healthy weight by consuming adequate calories and including physical activity each day within your ability.

Limiting protein intake to the level determined by the dietitian’s assessment of individual needs.

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