Why do patients who make urine have to be on dialysis?

SURVIVAL TIP: If you are fortunate enough to still make urine, use the time to train yourself to drink fluids that fit into a renal diet. Water is the best drink for your kidneys. Choose to make water your primary source of liquid refreshment. You can begin limiting dark colas, coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice and alcohol. Ask your nutritionist if you have questions about flavorings or drinks you should work to remove from your diet and how much fluid you should drink daily. Generally dialysis patients should drink only what they expel between treatments.

Some dialysis patients who are on dialysis still urinate. mineral-water-lemon-lime-1532300_1280These individuals require dialysis to clean their blood because of high creatine levels. Although their kidneys still make urine, the bean-shaped organs don’t sufficiently remove toxins from the blood.

Kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is caused by a number of factors and health conditions. Contributing diseases affect urine production differently.

 Did YOU KNOW that your body doesn’t always make urine just because you consume fluid? When the kidneys begin to fail, you make less or no urine. That’s why your doctor, nurses, and nutritionist want you to manage (limit) your fluid intake. The longer you are on dialysis, the less urine you make because your kidneys continue to decline. So if you don’t eliminate fluid through urination, you carry it in your bloodstream and tissues until dialysis removes the fluid and toxins.

Most dialysis patients no longer make urine. Anuria is the term used when kidneys no longer make urine. When I asked another patient early in my dialysis experience, he told me most people stop urinating after about three years. I found that to be true but still made minimal urine after three years. Reduced urine output is called oliguria. Although I didn’t measure but by the third year, I believe I was down to making about a half-cup per day in two or three daily bathroom visits. Using a public restroom beside someone with a full bladder reminds me how little urine I make.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are common in dialysis patients who don’t pass urine. Women should try to urinate after


Microscopic Bacteria

sexual intercourse to wash away bacteria that could have been introduced to the urethra (the tube that leads from the bladder to outside the body). Women also get UTIs more frequently than men because the urethra is shorter in females.

Many changes happen in our bodies when we rely on dialysis. If you have questions about changes, ask patients you feel you can trust or your team of dialysis professionals. We feel more calm and less fearful if we know that what is happening is normal or can be treated.

If you or someone you care about is facing dialysis, share your experiences and concerns. This is a forum for learning and inspiration where we can ask questions and be honest with others in the same situation. What are your experiences and challenges with dialysis?

If you would like Beth, the Dialysis Gal, to speak to your group, reach out via dialysisgal@gmail.com or in the comments.



About dialysisgal

When I joined the 450,000 Americans on dialysis, I wondered what "normal" would be. Would people stare at my access and ask what was wrong? In this blog, I hope to save other patients and their families from the difficulties I have faced. I want to share my experiences, what I learned, had to ask and was shocked to find. I am not a medical professional, but I hope we can have a conversation to help you better understand what you or someone you love with chronic kidney disease (CKD) might expect while living with dialysis.
This entry was posted in dialysis, kidney failure, renal failure, Urine output, UTI. Bookmark the permalink.

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