Health and Fitness

End-Stage Renal Disease- Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Kidneys, one of the most crucial body organs, when no longer function, is are termed End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Renal disease is also known as kidney failure or chronic kidney disease. It is the condition in which your kidneys are unable to filter the excess fluid from your body and the patients need regular dialysis or kidney transplantation to stay alive.

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease

You might experience severe and conspicuous symptoms when the kidney disease progresses to an advanced level. The end-stage renal disease might include the symptoms such as nausea/ vomiting, fatigue and weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive or low urination, loss of appetite, swelling of feet and ankles, high blood pressure, decreased mental sharpness, muscle cramps, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.

What does End-stage renal disease do to your body?

Excessive Fluids: Located just below the rib cage, the kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that filter excessive fluids and waste from your body. In end-stage renal disease, this organ stops filtering, which means your body is overloaded with dangerous fluid and waste. Therefore, dialysis happens to be effective to remove the unsafe fluid from the body.

Anemia: Kidneys help in making red blood cells in your body, so when they are not functional you might experience a condition of Anaemia.

Bone disease: Kidneys balance phosphorus and calcium levels in the blood that helps in maintaining healthy bones. End-stage renal disease is a major reason leading to bone disease.

Hyperkalemia: It is a condition where your body is congested with high potassium. Kidney failure leads to this problem, because of its inability to filter.

End-stage renal disease causes 

There are multiple reasons that cause kidney failure. Majorly it is caused by other underlying health problems that gradually damage your kidney over the years. Diseases and conditions that are responsible for kidney failure are:

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes, is the major and most common cause of ESRD.
  • Followed by High blood pressure, which is the second most common cause.
  • Autoimmune diseases, like lupus and IgA nephropathy.
  • Polycystic kidney disease, which is also called genetic disease.
  • Glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units.
  • Interstitial nephritis, when the kidney’s tubules and surrounding structures are inflamed.
  • Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys.
  • Chronic urinary tract infections, from conditions such as enlarged prostate, some cancers and kidney stones.
  • Pyelonephritis, a recurrent kidney infection.


Currently, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, but some treatments and surgeries may help to improve someone’s life expectancy. Dialysis on a regular basis or a kidney transplant can be an option, whereas not everyone can afford the treatment, for them, medications and monitoring the diet and lifestyle changes can be helpful.

Dialysis is a process of removing wastes and excess fluids with a help of a machine called a dialyzer, that filters the blood and reintroduces the clean blood back into the body of the patient.

A kidney transplant is a procedure of removing a kidney from a donor – living or dead – and placing it in the body of the patient with the damaged kidney. Compared with dialysis, a kidney transplant is considered to be much more effective as it betters a patient’s quality of life by minimizing the risk of death. There are fewer dietary restrictions in kidney transplant surgery and the cost of treatment is comparatively low.


Top kidney transplant surgeons in India will run a few tests in your body to see whether your kidneys are functioning or not. If a person’s kidneys are functioning at less than 15% of the normal rate, they are subjected to kidney failure testing. The levels of albumin and creatine in the person’s urine will also be checked by your doctors. ESRD can be diagnosed by a kidney ultrasound, kidney biopsy, and blood tests to check electrolyte levels and anemia.


Some lifestyle changes and dietary habits can be helpful in reducing the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, which are known to be the leading cause of ESRD.

Follow these tips and stay healthy and safe:

  • Exercising daily to maintain ideal body weight.
  • Consuming a balanced diet, with adequate vitamins and minerals.
  • Avoid saturated fat and oily food.
  • Avoiding alcohol consumption.
  • Reducing intake of heavily refined foods.
  • Getting enough sleep each day.
  • Staying hydrated.
  • Managing stress.
  • Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.

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