End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

End stage renal disease (ESRD) refers to a condition of irreversible kidney failure, mostly reached as a consequence of the development of a chronic kidney disease.

Chronic kidney diseases progress slowly over time (from at least three months to many years) and can lead to end stage renal disease and permanent renal failure.

Causes Of End Stage Renal Disease

There may be several causes for end stage renal disease, including diabetic nephropathy, hypertension, lupus or other autoimmune diseases, prolonged urinary tract blockages, Alport syndrome, nephritic syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, extensive urinary infections, cystinosis, pyelonephritis, and many others.

Symptoms Of End Stage Renal Disease

End stage renal disease (ESRD) may be characterized by many symptoms, depending on the condition that causes the renal failure.

Some of the most common ESRD symptoms are poor appetite, vomits, pain, headaches, insomnia or other sleep disorders, ankle itching, dry skin, malaise, fatigue, muscle cramps, changes in the amount and frequency of urine output, pallor, halitosis, impaired hearing, tissue swelling, presence of a hard mass in the abdominal area, unusual metallic taste in the mouth, irritability and a felling of general illness caused by the accumulation of toxins in the blood.

Treatment Of End Stage Renal Disease

An adequate treatment of the symptoms of end stage renal disease (ESRD) will be applied by a professional based on the patient’s age, medical history, type and extent of the disease, underlying causes, and other patient-specific information.

Treatment may consist on several actions, including hospitalization, administration of fluids, diuretic medications, electrolyte monitoring, blood pressure medications and others. On most cases, people suffering from end stage renal disease will eventually need dialysis or kidney transplantation to help or restore kidney function.

Living With End Stage Renal Disease

People with end stage renal disease can maintain an almost normal life by following the doctor’s indications. Regular checks with the physician are almost mandatory. Except for patients with a kidney transplant, people suffering from end stage renal disease will need to dialyze regularly. This may not represent a great inconvenience, especially if the method of choice is peritoneal dialysis (which can be almost always done at home). A healthy diet and carefully organized habits can vastly improve the quality of life of end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.