Understanding End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): Treatment Pathways

End-stage renal Disease (ESRD) is the most advanced stage of kidney disease. In renal failure, kidneys lose their ability to filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood.

Renal failure impacts a person’s overall health and well-being, leading to potential ESRD complications, such as high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, and heart disease.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with renal failure, understanding ESRD treatment options is critical to your quality of life.

Person getting kidney ultrasound

ESRD Diagnosis

Finding out if someone has ESRD is the first important step in deciding how to treat it.

The tests and checks for diagnosis usually include:

  • Blood Tests: They check substances in your blood like creatinine and GFR to see how your kidneys work.
  • Urine Tests: These look for things like protein, blood, or other issues in your pee.
  • Imaging: Special pictures, like ultrasounds or scans, show how your kidneys look.
  • Biopsy: Sometimes, they might need to take a tiny piece of your kidney to see what’s causing the damage.

Understanding ESRD Treatment

Once diagnosed with renal failure, there are various stage 5 kidney disease treatment options to consider.

Dialysis

Dialysis is a life-saving medical procedure replicating the kidney’s function by removing waste products and excess fluids from the blood. The two most common types of dialysis include:

  • Hemodialysis: This involves using a machine to filter blood externally, typically performed at a dialysis center or home with extensive training.
  • Peritoneal Dialysis: Utilizes the patient’s peritoneal membrane in the abdominal cavity to filter waste products by exchanging fluid through a catheter.

Dialysis balances the body’s chemicals, manages blood pressure, and removes toxins.

Dialysis, though important for end-stage renal disease care, can have its challenges. It can mean limited time, food restrictions, and possible problems.

Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is an extensive surgery where a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor is placed into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.

Living donor transplants are when a relative or someone compatible gives a kidney. Deceased donor transplants use organs from people who’ve passed away but donated their organs.

After surgery, patients need medicines that lower the immune system to prevent rejection, and they must follow a strict care plan.

A successful kidney transplant can improve the quality of life. It can also lead to fewer dietary restrictions and the possibility of long-term kidney function.

A transplant is a preferred option for many with stage 5 kidney disease. Still, timing is the most important aspect to consider. The kidney transplant process can take months to years.

Palliative Care

Palliative care for ESRD patients focuses on making them feel better.

It teams up with other treatments to:

  • Relieve physical pain.
  • Provide emotional support and counseling.
  • Help with stress and anxiety.
  • Handle psychological needs and worries.
  • Set achievable goals with patients.
  • Promote open communication and shared decision-making.
Senior man talking with doctor

ESRD Prognosis

End-stage renal disease life expectancy depends on several factors, including:

  • Overall health
  • Age
  • Treatment choice
  • Coexisting medical conditions
  • Adherence to treatment
  • Lifestyle and dietary choices
  • Access to quality healthcare

Talking to your healthcare providers about your ESRD diagnosis is essential to make informed decisions.

Personalized ESRD Treatment Near You

At Innovative Renal Care, your health comes first. That’s why we provide various ESRD treatments, including dialysis, kidney transplantation, and palliative care.

We know how important managing ESRD is, and we’re here to help patients find the right treatment.

For more information on ESRD treatment options and personalized care plans, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team today.

Informed patients are healthier and can more easily adjust to the restrictions associated with having a chronic disease.

“You’ll never find the quality of care that you get at an ARA facility anywhere else. The staff always have your best interest at heart and will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and help however they can. The truth is, I consider them my extended family!” 

Mr. Randal Beatty, University Kidney Center Hikes Lane, Louisville, KY