What is End Stage Renal Disease?

End Stage Renal Disease
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End Stage Renal Disease

Today we’re going to talk about end stage renal disease, which is a disease of complete or almost complete loss of function of the kidneys. With this disease, the kidneys lose the ability to regulate electrolytes in the body, to concentrate urine, and to excrete the waste products.


Chronic kidney disease is a progressive disease that initially can be managed with diet and medications. Sodium restrictions and controlling phosphates in the diet can help manage kidney disease for some time. However, as the disease worsens, other measures will have to be taken.


When the kidney function declines to all but 10-15% of its normal function, dialysis or kidney transplant at this point is necessary for the patient’s survival. Because the kidneys cannot regulate electrolytes, electrolytes will become imbalanced in the body. Without being able to concentrate urine and excrete the waste products, fluids will also build up in the body, becoming toxic and eventually causing the patient’s death.


In review: end stage renal disease is a complete or almost complete loss of kidney function, leaving the kidneys unable to regulate electrolytes, to concentrate urine, or excrete waste products. It is progressive and manageable initially with diet and medications, but eventually treated with dialysis or ultimately kidney transplant.



Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 06/15/2018
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