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Too old for a kidney transplant? Am also diabetic

Posted by @lastdaze04, Jul 18, 2014

Hello All: My name is Rick Richards I have come to a crossing point in my life, one I knew that was going to come but not this quick. I have a question if it in the wrong forum please direct to the correct one.
I need a Kidney transplant (Kidney forum??) But my Dr said that it will not happen because I am too old and a Type 2 Diabetic. Is that true? I am 55 years old, only slightly over weight 206lbs and I am 6ft tall and very active, meaning I assist in the care of my four grandsons, and I have the biggest paycheck. The thought of going on Dialysis, scares the crap out of me an I love my job I am at, The thought of going on disability is abhorring, I would rather go end it all. Someone please tell me that my Dr is wrong. I already have 3 family members lined up to see if they are compatible matches. These are my immediate questions at the moment, I have a ton more in my mind, I look forward to your response.


Posted by @Margaret_Marie, Jul 18, 2014

Hi, @lastdaze04. Here’s some information on kidney transplants that might be helpful for you: Does anyone have any insight for Rick?

Liked by Rick


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Posted by @lastdaze04, Jul 19, 2014

Hi Margaret: I thank-you for your help. Are you a nurse or a DR at the Mayo Clinic? I had Dr Leibovich do a complete Radical Nephrectomy on my left side 13 years ago. I see he is still practicing at Mayo. I will look up all the info that I can, yours included. I am still in shock and its still hard to take. I feel for the 1st time in my life that I am not in control of anything and I feel like a kid in 1st grade waiting to be told what to do next. I see right now that I will need a support group to get me thru this. I am hoping that I can get a transplant without doing the dialysis thing 1st as it can create some problems from what I have read. Thanks again for taking an interest guiding me to the right material. Rick

Posted by @rosemarya, Jul 18, 2014

Rick. Have you considered getting a second opinion from a Kidney Specialist? Some of the info that you present here is worth questioning. First, at 55 years, you are not too old to be considered for a transplant. Sometimes pre-existing conditions can disqualify you; or at the very least make it more difficult. If you have to take care of some pre-existing conditions in order to qualify, I encourage you to do so! Even if that means doing some dialysis. In all honesty, dialysis is not fun, but if it gives you extended life then by all means go for it!! I know of several people who spent time on dialysis and who lived active productive lives up until transplant. I’m sending good thoughts your way, Rosemary (liver and kidney 2009)


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Posted by @lastdaze04, Jul 19, 2014

Hi Rosemary: I really appreciate your response. As far as anything that disqualifies me??I am really not sure what to say. Other than being a diabetic. My last A1c was 6.2 and the one before that was 5.2 (almost normal) I try very hard to keep it under control. I am still losing weight with the hope of getting off the meds and supplements altogether. I have been laid up for the last 3weeks due to a knee injury, managed to still lose 5lbs but no exercising has had a detrimental effect on my glucose level, its been way up. Maybe you can give me a few suggestions as to things that might disqualify me, as I am new to this. I appreciate your help. Thank-you. Rick

Posted by @keggebraaten, Jul 19, 2014

Hi, @Rick, I work with the physicians in the Kidney Transplant Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I think I can help you further with your situation. If you are interested in more information, please send me an email at I would love to hear from you and can reply with more information on Monday. Thanks!


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Posted by @swaggerl, Oct 25, 2014

@Rick, Being 55 and diabetic does not disqualify you. Keep seeking information and try to go to Mayo for a 2nd opinion. I am 62 and diabetic and have had a transplant. Also been on dialysis. It is not fun, but it keeps you alive until you can get a transplant. Don’t give up. Best of luck to you.


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Posted by @bettyjeanne, Nov 8, 2014

Hi Rick, My kidney doctor also told me my kidney issues were the result of old age, and I just need to accept being unable to urinate and having wild water retention fluctuations of 10-30 lbs. I’m 5’6″ and my base weight is 125 and I am only 56 years old. I refuse to accept this woman’s opinion that my kidney issues are do to “old age.” The idea that we are being labeled as old is ridiculous. I too am getting a second opinion. I hope all goes well for you, and please believe that being in our fifties is not “too old” for anything!

Posted by @rosemarya, Jun 28, 2016

Bettyjeanne, I have been reading some past entrees and noticed this one from you. I hope is its ok to ask you after many months, how are you doing?
I cannot imagine the hurt and insult of being called ‘old’! (I’m in my 60’s) Aside from that I know how difficult it is to live with water retention and urination problems and all the other issues related to kidney failure. I suffered a rapid acute renal failure as my liver cirrhosis worsened. I sincerely hope and pray that you got some answers that you can live with.


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Posted by @irvkay312, Jun 29, 2016

I also have had kidney problems from chemotherapy in 2009. That in itself
has not allowed me to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, before going
to the bathroom. Chronic Kidney Failure stage 3. Some other problems
during day as well. Again, something else we also don’t always understand
“is how our system changes and slows down in various degrees with age.”



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Posted by @coastalgirl, Jun 28, 2016

To everyone questioning whether they are a candidate for kidney transplant, get your current physician to refer you or make your own appointment at a Mayo facility nearest you. They will give you a complete workup and get you on the right track. Good luck in journey to a better life.


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Posted by @shelllady, May 9, 2017

Well, here goes…I am a soon to be 81, white female with EKD stage 4, bordering on stage 5 but still hanging in there. I’m 5’4″ tall, 115 lbs and found out about my kidney problems about 12 years ago. I don’t think I have too much time left until I am forced to decide what kind of dialysis I prefer or do I just say….the heck with it and see what happens next. My kidney stones were uric acid, not calcium and I’m also not a diabetic. Does anybody have any thoughts on my situation? I just joined this discussion on May 9, 2017. Thanks so much. Genie P.

Posted by @rosemarya, May 9, 2017

@shelllady, Hi, Genie, and welcome to Connect. We are here and ready to share from our own experiences. I hope that you will be receiving some input about this dialysis decision soon from others who have faced a similar decision.
My dialysis experience relatively brief in preparation for my transplant.

Here is a link to the American Association of Kidney Patients. You might find some information there.

I would like to encourage you to continue to educate yourself and your loved ones and thus have a reasonable discussion. Have you and your kidney doctor had any conversation about this?

Posted by @rosemarya, May 13, 2017

@shelllady, I noticed that you have posted this concern in several places. Have you received any helpful information, yet?
Connect has recently undergone an update. I want to be sure that your inquiry was not lost in the process.
Did you find anything helpful in the link to AAKP that I sent?


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Posted by @litningbugz, Jul 16, 2017

I was recently asked by my 78 yr old mother to assist her at the doctor’s to help interpret and make health decisions with her.
Her doctor is a local immediate Care clinic..
She lost weight fast, is shaking all the time, has confusion with words,
She was told last year about stage 3 Kidney Disease. Was prescribed sertraline. Along with a good talking to about low sodium, exercise, along with drinking more water.
I’m struggling to figure out what the Stages are.
How far along she is.
What can I do, besides offer my own kidney Stat!

Posted by @rosemarya, Jul 17, 2017

@litningbugz, I want to first welcome you to Mayo Connect. We are a community of people, like yourself, who either have experienced, or are currently experiencing a vast array of medical issues. I am happy to meet you, and I look forward to continuing conversation with you.
Here is a link to information from Mayo Clinic that addresses your question about the stages of kidney failure.

I have no medical training, but I will add that transplant is considered when all other options have been exhausted.

You mentioned that your mother was diagnosed last year with the Stage 3 Kidney Disease. Are the medication and dietary and liquid intake recommendations from last year? or new?
What did the attending doctor say about her current condition? And what arrangements are there for follow-up?

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