End-stage kidney disease is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. This is when your kidneys can no longer support your body’s needs. The kidneys remove waste and excess water from the body.
End-stage kidney disease (ESRD) is when the kidneys are no longer able to work at a level needed for day-to-day life.
ESRD almost always comes after chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may slowly stop working over 10 - 20 years before end-stage disease results.
Common symptoms may include:
Other symptoms may include:
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and order blood tests. Most people with this condition have high blood pressure.
Patients with end-stage kidney disease will make much less urine, or urine production may stop.
End-stage kidney disease changes the results of many tests. Patients receiving dialysis will need these and other tests done often:
This disease may also change the results of the following tests:
Dialysis does some of the job of the kidneys when they stop working well.
Your health care provider will discuss dialysis with you before you need it. Dialysis removes waste from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do their job.
Two different methods are used to perform dialysis:
A kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy kidney into a person with kidney failure. Your doctor will refer you to a transplant center. There, you will be seen and evaluated by the transplant team. They will want to make sure that you are a good candidate for kidney transplant.
You may need to follow a special diet for chronic kidney disease. These changes may include:
Other treatment depends on your symptoms but may include:
You should be up-to-date on important vaccinations, including:
Some people get benefit from taking part in a kidney disease support group.
End-stage kidney disease leads to death if you do not have dialysis or a kidney transplant. However, both of these treatments can have risks. The outcome is different for each person.
Renal failure - end stage; Kidney failure - end stage; ESRD
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Updated by: Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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