End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) – Symptoms and Causes

End-stage renal failure (ESRD)

End-stage renal failure (ESRD) is the final stage of chronic kidney disease in which the kidneys have lost almost all of their ability to function properly. It is characterized by a severe decline in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which measures the flow of blood through the kidneys, and the build-up of waste products in the body. People with ESRD require either dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life. ESRD is a serious and life-threatening condition that can lead to multiple complications and a poor quality of life if not managed effectively.

The five stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are:

  • Stage 1: Normal or high kidney function with normal or elevated GFR (glomerular filtration rate).
  • Stage 2: Mildly decreased kidney function with mildly decreased GFR.
  • Stage 3: Moderate decrease in kidney function with moderate decrease in GFR.
  • Stage 4: Severe decrease in kidney function with severe decrease in GFR.
  • Stage 5: End-stage renal disease (ESRD), characterized by complete or nearly complete loss of kidney function.

It’s important to note that early detection and management of CKD can slow the progression of the disease and help prevent or delay the development of ESRD.

What are the symptoms of end-stage renal failure?

End-stage renal failure (ESRD) can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Confusion or changes in mental function
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Seizures or coma (in severe cases)

These symptoms may be the result of the build-up of waste products in the body, changes in fluid and electrolyte balance, and other complications of ESRD. People with ESRD may also experience complications such as cardiovascular disease, anemia, and bone disease. It’s important to manage ESRD with appropriate treatment, such as dialysis or a kidney transplant, to prevent or alleviate these symptoms and complications.

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