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Kt/V and Me | Why I Only Dialyze Four Times a Week

The Kt/V test is a test of dialysis adequacy. When I first started (peritoneal) dialysis, I was dialyzing seven nights a week. When my doctor saw how good my labs were, he told me that I could have a day off, I was elated. Freedom! (for one day a week). When I moved to Oregon, and my new kidney doctor looked at my labs, she wanted to try me on only five days a week. I had no idea that this dream could become a reality, but I wasn’t dreaming.

My dialysis clinic tests dialysis adequacy quarterly, four times a year. It is a little bit of a hassle; I need to collect 24 hours of urine output, and I need to bring my drain bags into the clinic, so they can test the used dialysate (dialysis solution). When I had my Kt/V done in June, it was 3.99. They want to see at least a 2.0 in peritoneal dialysis patients, and I was almost double that, and this was only on five nights a week.

My new kidney doctor (I seem to be going through them) said that he wanted to try me on only four nights a week — FOUR! Of course I was excited to try this. Whether he kept me on four nights a week was dependent on whether I could keep my Kt/V up, so they did another test for the month of August.

I scored a 3.24!

Now this doesn’t mean that I can stop dialysis altogether, but it does mean that when I meet with my doctor next week, he will most probably give me the go ahead to continue with four nights a week, which is good news as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t fully understand the calculations, but generally speaking, for peritoneal dialysis, they test the urine output and the used dialysate to see how much waste is getting taken out. Then they factor in how long you dialyze a night, how many nights you dialyze, how much fluid you drained (and peed), and your dry weight (weight without any dialysate in your belly). See if you can make sense of this article: wikipedia/Kt/V. If you have any insight, please leave a comment.

I credit clean (vegan) eating, and an active lifestyle. Since I was giving the OK to drop down to four nights a week, I have been waking up early (most days) to go for a little jog around the block. I don’t want to waste the new time that I have gained!

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