Stage 5 Kidney Disease

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 My father in law is in end stage kidney failure. he has refused dialysis due to additional health issues. IN the past 30 days his GFR has dropped from 13 to 11, creatanine  has gone from 4.5 to 5.1. Potassium is also very high at 5.6. 

Has anyone gone through this with  loved one? How low can your GFR go or how long can one live with these numbers. We know the end is in site but so hard to know how much time we have. 

Thank You

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Brad,

    I am really sad to hear that your father in law has such problems.  I have to say though that as someone old with a similar bunch of problems I think he is tackling the end of life very bravely.  I do not think that it is easy to be definite about the outcome with time.  Poor kidney function tends to exacerbate other health problems so it is not possible to give exact predictions.  I have heard though of other patients with similar levels of kidney function, and they seem to have managed quite well for reasonable periods of time.  It is quite important though to avoid damaging the remaining function, so a careful kidney friendly diet;  avoiding meds which cause kidney injury  (which is most of them), and taking as much exercise as possible is all one can do.

    The best of luck for your family,



  • Posted

    Hello, Brad. I was sad to read the post about you FiL; I am in a similar position to him and saw my nephrologist yesterday. My GFR is stable at 6 and has been for quite some time but I am managing to keep my K and phosphates under control by diet, although I did have Fe yesterday to help with anaemia,

    To put things into context, I was at GFR 11 for almost two years, so I shouldn't worry over-much about life expectancy at this time. Even without dialysis -- a decision I too have taken -- I think he could well be looking at four years -- and a lot can happen in four years.

    Again, this is merely an estimate based on my own experiences; your FiL's will probably not be exactly the same, but it isn't really possible to say.

    I hope he -- and all of you -- enjoy the Christmas Season, and may God bless you.

  • Posted

    Thank you Ken and Bert for your replies. I am impressed Bert how you have made changes necessary to live with this horrible disease. I unfortunately cant imagine my father in law will make it years. He will not make diet changes and with his other health issues I am afraid the end is in site. He is on so MANY meds for his heart, cholesterol, diabetes... I am fearful his heart will give out before anything else. He has been battling very high sodium. Have you delt with that Bert? As your GFR dipped below 15 did you see a major decline in your energy?
    • Posted

      One of the most effective things you can do when diagnosed as suffering from CKD is to drastically reduce your intake of sodium; this is largely down to cutting out salt, using unsalted butter and never using substitutes such as Lo-Salt.

      The dietitian is really your best friend when you have CKD and he or she will be able to advise you more fully than you will find here. I have stopped eating, for example, tomatoes, mushrooms, nuts and fruits, and have cut back on potatoes, although boiling them first and discarding the water is a good idea. I didn't drink or smoke anyway, but if you do, it's probably best to give them up.

      Be careful what medicines you take and always check with your Renal Unit before taking any over-the-counter medications as almost all drugs have a deleterious effect on your kidneys. Watch your water intake -- I don't have to do this very much as I am not doing dialysis -- and don't drink milk.

      Your dietitian can, I am sure, recommend books I don't think I'm allowed to name on these pages, and dealing with your disease is quite manageable with a little effort.

      As to a decline in energy, yes, it happens, but quite slowly; your days of running for the bus are limited -- but ther's always another wink !

      I have enjoyed the last five Christmases under these conditions and had a great time; I hope you will too.

      Good wishes, thoughts and prayers be with you!


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