When does dialysis start?

Could someone who’s been through it out there tell me at what glomerulofiltration rate (gfr) number do you usually begin dialysis. I’m down to a 13ml number and wonder what I should expect, how soon and when. If anyone could answer my questions based on this number, I’d be very grateful. My creatnine is 5.3, my age is 42, and I’m a white, male, if that helps. Thank you, Mike :smiley:

In the U.S. people usually start dialysis when their creatinine clearance is 10-15 or their creatinine is 6-8. Diabetics usually start when their creatinine is around 6 or their creatinine clearance is 15. Non-diabetics start when their creatinine is 8 or their creatinine clearance is 10. This translates to 10-15% kidney function. Report your symptoms to your doctor too. Some people must start sooner than others because of their health and symptoms otherwise while others can wait to start.

Most professionals believe that it’s best not to wait too long because if you’re very ill and malnourished when you start, you could have complications and take longer to feel better. I hope you’re seeing a nephrologist. About 40% of patients are referred late to a nephrologist (<3 months prior to starting treatment). This makes it hard to prevent kidney failure or prolong kidney function and to get enough education to know all your options. Also people that start dialysis urgently are more likely to need to have a hemodialysis catheter which is the most problem-prone dialysis access.

Check out the 5 dialysis types from the home page looking at the chart that compares all the home modalities with each other and in-center dialysis. Also, you might want to visit Kidney School:

Be sure your doctor knows if you’re interested in a kidney transplant. It is possible to get a kidney transplant prior to doing dialysis, but you need to be evaluated at a transplant program and either have a living donor or be very lucky to get a donor from the transplant list. Your friends and family may willing to donate. It’s not easy, but you may want to ask.