Chronic kidney disease is a condition that damages the kidneys and decreases their ability to filter blood according to the body’s needs. As the condition of the kidney worsens, the body’s wastes can build to high levels, causing complications such as high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones and nerve damage. Kidney disease also causes an increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Progressive CKD may lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant, in order to prolong life.


End Stage Renal Disease is the final phase of chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys can no longer support the body’s needs.


Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main causes of ESRD. Other medical conditions which can damage the kidneys include, glomerulonephritis, a disorder that causes inflammations and damage to the kidney’s filtering units, inherited diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, malformations or other obstructions such as kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.


Many symptoms of kidney disease will not be obvious until the advanced stages. Some patients may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Feel tired with less energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle cramping at night
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • The urge to urinate more often, especially at night


Dialysis treatment is provided for patients who have developed end stage kidney failure, with a loss of about 85% of kidney function. Dialysis keeps the body functioning by removing waste, salt and extra water from the body, and maintaining a safe level of certain chemicals in the blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate.
Dialysis can be performed in a hospital, healthcare center, outpatient clinic or at home. Patients suffering from end stage kidney failure should speak to their doctors about the best treatment options for their individual condition.
There are two types of dialysis treatment- hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.


With hemodialysis, an artificial kidney is used to remove waste, extra chemicals and fluid from the body. Doctors make an access to the patient’s blood vessels with a minor surgery to the arm or leg. In some cases, an access is made by joining an artery to a vein under the skin, or with a soft plastic tube under the skin. Hemodialysis treatment usually lasts about four hours, and is done three times a week.

Peritoneal Dialysis

With peritoneal dialysis, the blood is cleaned inside of the body. Doctors place a catheter inside the abdomen to make an access. During treatment, the abdominal area is filled with dialysate, drawing out the extra fluid and waste products from the blood.


Healthy eating habits are important for everyone, especially for those suffering from ESRD. Good nutrition can help to maintain energy levels, prevent infection, avoid muscle loss and slow down the progression of kidney disease.

Patients with ESRD may need to monitor the amount of protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium in their diet. Consult with a doctor or registered dietician about maintaining a balanced diet in order stay healthy and feeling well.


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