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When would I need dialysis?

You need dialysis if your kidneys no longer remove enough wastes and fluid from your blood to keep you healthy. This usually happens when you have only 10% to 15% of your kidney function left. You may have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, swelling and fatigue.

However, even if you don't have these symptoms yet, you can still have a high level of wastes in your blood that may be toxic to your body. Your doctor is the best person to tell you when you should start dialysis.
Dialysis is needed when your kidneys are no longer working well enough to filter your blood and remove the toxins that build up. Doctors can use different tests to measure kidney function. But the one most commonly used is the glomerular filtration rate, or GFR. The GFR rates kidney function from normal (GFR >90) to Grade 5 (GFR <15). Dialysis is often needed at Stage 5, which is chronic kidney disease. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.